With both Labour
and the Greens supporting the plan, I/S at No Right Turn makes the case against…
The left should not support prison slave labour
Yesterday, the government announced that all prisons would become “working prisons”, with their inmates forced to work for 40 hours a week for no pay, and denied parole if they don’t. Bu what’s appalling is that Labour
and the Greens immediately lined up to say “me too” to this piece of “tough on crime” bullshit.
As I’ve pointed out before, there is a name for people kept in cages and forced to work for nothing at the point of a baton. They’re called “slaves”. Quite apart from the inherent wrongness of that (it is rightly a crime in all civilised nations, including New Zealand), it drives free workers to the dole queues, violates international law and puts exports at risk. And no left party should be supporting that.
What should they support? Education. Training. Proper work at decent wages with full employment rights. Corrections’ release to work programme is a great example of how things should be done: it treats prisoners fairly, aids rehabilitation and re-integration into the community, and doesn’t undermine non-slave businesses. But what the government is proposing is pure exploitation for the profit of some of our biggest companies. Labour
and the Greens should not support it.
Correction: The Greens do not support prison slave labour. Good to know. I apologise for believing the Herald‘s report of their position.
updated to include NRT’s correction and changes to original post.