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Open mike 19/05/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 19th, 2022 - 38 comments
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38 comments on “Open mike 19/05/2022 ”

  1. Jimmy 1

    How do we stop idiots like this Stringfellow bloke that just ignore the law. At least he's off the roads for two years but I bet he will be driving again as soon as he's released even though he's banned for five years.

    Northland boy permanently disabled in crash caused by 11-time drink-driver – NZ Herald

    • Incognito 1.1

      Depends on whether you approach it as a personal, as a social issue, or somewhere (?) in between.

      What solutions do you offer, Jimmy?

      • Jimmy 1.1.1

        The public needs to be protected from people like this. (Imagine if it had been your 8 year old son that was permanently injured).

        Unfortunately it seems the only way to keep him off the road is by locking him up. Perhaps it is compulsory that a breathaliser is fitted to his vehicle before it is able to be driven (obviously he could drive someone else's car).

        Unfortunately no one seems to have a great solution other than locking him up, as he will drive regardless of having a driving licence.

        Perhaps like casinos ban problem gamblers, pubs could be told to ban him (and wholesalers, supermarkets?) just doesn't seem do able.

        • Incognito 1.1.1.1

          You seem to think that we, yes we, (should) just lock them up and/or ban them for some time (?) and then release them back into the wild with the same limited skills and in the same fragile mental state as they were before. Luckily, some are working on more constructive solutions although there are no and will never be a silver bullet.

          https://www.districtcourts.govt.nz/criminal-court/criminal-jurisdiction/specialist-criminal-courts/alcohol-and-other-drug-treatment-court/

          • Jimmy 1.1.1.1.1

            After 11 drink driving convictions the question I would ask is why is he not already in this ststem you suggest? It should not be optional for him as he is a danger to himself and the public. Or has it not worked for him?

          • Belladonna 1.1.1.1.2

            Looked up the programme (which I wasn't familiar with) – and initially looks like a good attempt to make a difference.

            However, the incentive for participants is that they will avoid jail time, rather than that they actually want to turn their lives around. Which (as noted in multiple international studies) – is *not* a good predictor for long-term success.

            According to this review, published 2017.

            they had a 62 per cent lower rate of reoffending and 71 per cent lower rate of reimprisonment than the matched sample of offenders over a 12-month period.

            However, these positive reductions in the rate of reoffending for AODT Court accepted participants appear to reduce over time. Comparable reductions in offending were -21 per cent over two years, and -17 per cent over three years, with a similar pattern occurring over reimprisonment and frequency of reoffending rates.

            http://www.nzlii.org/nz/journals/NZCrimLawRw/2017/11.html

            The author also notes that those most likely to complete the programme successfully, were also the ones with the highest prediction of not re-offending.

            sample of graduates was composed of 57 per cent drink drivers, who were predicted to have lower reoffending rates.

            It also reduces offending to a simplistic cost-accountancy formula – based on the court costs rather than the costs to the community.

            25 per cent reduction in reoffending by participants generates enough savings in the short-term to recover the $1.3 million yearly additional investment into A ODT Court.

            Try telling that to the parent of a child killed or severely injured by a recidivist drunk driver.

            • Incognito 1.1.1.1.2.1

              Thank you. I’ve already commented @ 1.1.3.1 on the focus on costs in $$ only and that nothing will undo damage or bring back victims.

              At least one of your quotes (i.e., the one about recovery of yearly additional investment in the Court, which is based on a “Speculative cost-benefit modelling by the Ministry of Justice” estimate) is incomplete and missing relevant info sad

              BTW, the formatting of that 2017-Review was awful!

              In June 2019, an AODT Court Outcomes Evaluation Report was published:

              Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Court Outcomes Evaluation 2018-19: Summary Evaluation Report

              The report found that within two years after graduating from the Court, participants were less likely to offend, less likely to be in prison and less likely to be involved with Police services. Where subsequent offending occurred, it was likely to be less serious offending.

              The report also found that participants who completed the AODT programme experienced improved relationships with whānau, improved health, and increased education, training and mahi opportunities.

              https://www.justice.govt.nz/courts/criminal/specialist-courts/alcohol-and-other-drug-treatment-court/

              • Belladonna

                Agree the formatting of the 2017 report was dire – so sorry if I missed some information re costs.

                This one is labelled 'In confidence' I'm assuming that it's been officially released 😉

                However, the quote from the 2019 report for longer term effectiveness is much less rosy (p.22), than your comment (limited to outcomes within two years) suggests.

                Over longer follow-up periods, the results suggest that the effectiveness of the AODT Court in reducing reoffending and imprisonment declines markedly. There were only significant differences for the overall reoffending rate and frequency of reoffending measures within three years, and no significant differences for any of the measures within a four-year follow-up period.

                • Incognito

                  I wasn’t using any kind of special privilege or authorised access to that report and as far as I’m concerned it is in the Public Domain for all to access and read (and why shouldn’t it be?).

                  The way I interpret the findings is that there is an initial significant but relatively short-lived improvement and benefit. As with waning immunity, the solution may be a combination of better treatment options and boosters.

      • Belladonna 1.1.2

        5 years in jail to start with. Max sentence for the crime. There are no mitigating circumstances. Really this fine graduation of sentences for 'bad, worse, worst' is rubbish. I can understand a reduction from the maximum with truly mitigating circumstances, but apart from that – 'do the crime, do the time'. I don't care how sorry he is now….. that poor kid and their family have a lifetime sentence. 20% discount for being 'sorry' is ridiculously generous.

        Lifetime disqualification from driving. After 10 instances where he's been caught – God knows how many there really were – he's more than demonstrated that he is not capable of making rational choices around alcohol and driving.

        Required to sell all vehicles. And permanently prohibited from buying any more. So sorry if that impacts on his ability to work. Get a job in walking distance or ride a bike.

        Police choosing to charge anyone who lends him a vehicle as an accessory (and confiscating the vehicle).

        Caught driving again – whether drunk or not = automatic 2 year prison sentence – no discretion from the Judge.

        Really, it's up to him to decide if he wants to get his alcohol problem under control. My concern is protecting the community.

        Yep it costs to keep him in jail. It also costs to let him carry on causing devastation wherever he goes. The lifetime ACC costs for that kid are (or should be – don't know if they're getting good quality advice) astronomical.

        • Anne 1.1.2.1

          I heard the following by chance on Nine to Noon today. It is compelling stuff as told by a former drug dealer who spent years in gaol. Well worth a listen:

          https://www.rnz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=2018842567

          Even Kathryn Ryan stayed pretty much silent.

          • Belladonna 1.1.2.1.1

            Yeah – I caught a bit of that on the way home from the school run [it's a bit much to ask the kid to take the vintage baritone sax on the school bus – both fragile and expensive ;-)]

            Will try to listen properly later – when I get a break from work…..

        • satty 1.1.2.2

          Without a doubt that should be the starting position:

          Lifetime disqualification from driving…

          Required to sell all vehicles. And permanently prohibited from buying any more. So sorry if that impacts on his ability to work. Get a job in walking distance or ride a bike.

          Police choosing to charge anyone who lends him a vehicle as an accessory (and confiscating the vehicle).

          For the last point I would like to add the lifetime disqualification from driving for the person providing the car to the offender.

          It appears to me, there's some form of "birthright to own & drive a car" here in New Zealand, not dissimilar to gun-rights in the US. I doubt any longterm driving improvements (widespread, excessive speeding, harassment and intimidation of others, like cyclists, pedestrians and other car drivers) can be achieved without a clear message that each time a offence is committed, the driver license could be on the line.

          • Belladonna 1.1.2.2.1

            For the last point I would like to add the lifetime disqualification from driving for the person providing the car to the offender.

            I don't know I'd go that far. Sometimes there can be quite a bit of intimidation involved in the 'loan' of the car.

            But I agree that we do have a 'right to drive' mentality (explicit in our court system – which regularly removes or reduces penalties because the offender 'needs to drive for work').

            • satty 1.1.2.2.1.1

              Here's an idea…

              I heard the government wants New Zealanders to drive 20% less in their cars by 2030.

              Why don't we take the worst offending drivers off the road for that? Like everyone driving more than 20 km/h over the speed limit is on a shortlist to get banned from driving (indefinitely) to achieve the reduction above.

              Would be interesting to see if / how the driving behaviour changes.

        • Incognito 1.1.2.3

          You’re talking about this specific case, aren’t you, and not about recidivist drink-drivers more general?

          Really, it’s up to him to decide if he wants to get his alcohol problem under control. My concern is protecting the community.

          Nice juxtaposition there.

      • Peter 1.1.3

        Coming up with solutions that are effective is the problem. At the moment he'll be in jail at a cost of $150,000 a year. What is the financial cost for his unfortunate victims? Clearly a massive amount is involved.

        Maybe different investment further back in his history would have obviated the latest terrible incident.

        • Incognito 1.1.3.1

          First reply that seems to have some merit, thank you. Sadly, the focus tends to drift to $$ when the bigger cost is social, personal, and mental/emotional. As they say, a heavy sentence won’t undo the damage or bring back the victim.

          • Jimmy 1.1.3.1.1

            "a heavy sentence won’t undo the damage or bring back the victim." No it wont, but if all else has failed, it will keep others safe.

            • Incognito 1.1.3.1.1.1

              Oh yeah, how does that work exactly?

              • Belladonna

                At the most basic level, if he's in jail, he's not on the roads causing more mayhem.

                Once he’s out, if he has no car, is not allowed to own one, and no licence (and anyone who lends him a car, loses it), he's much less likely to drive again.
                If he does drive again, he goes straight back to prison.

                Yep, in those circumstances, I do think the community will be safer from him.

                • Incognito

                  In other words, it is much more a personal problem than a community one?

                  Did you listen to the full interview with Billy Macfarlane that Anne linked to @ 1.1.2.1?

                  • Belladonna

                    Yep I did.
                    Not sure how this differentiation between personal and community is relevant.

                    Having had something to do with family connections with alcohol abuse problems. They will only change when they want to – it's not something that can be imposed from outside. It doesn't matter how much rehabilitation and/or support is offered. You can't make someone better. They have to choose to want to be better.

                    All the community can do is protect itself. And, one very simple and effective way is to remove the 'right to drive' from people with alcohol abuse issues. [We already do this, through loss of license provisions]

                    Those who continue to drive illegally and dangerously – against the provisions of the law – need to be removed from the community, for the safety of that community. And, the only solution we have ATM is jail.

                    If you want to argue for more rehabilitation facilities – I'll support this.
                    But, you also have to acknowledge that for many people, they quite simply don't work. And, those people should never drive again.

                    • Incognito

                      Not sure how this differentiation between personal and community is relevant.

                      It takes a village to raise a child.

                  • Belladonna

                    Still not seeing the relevance.

                    Not talking about raising a child here. But about an adult who is unwilling to take personal responsibility for his actions and who certainly has had zero regard for the community in which he lives.

                    Jail (and other legal sanctions) is *how* the community deals with people who wilfully disregard the responsibilities which come with community membership.

                    • Incognito

                      Ok, you and I are reading that saying and seeing things differently, which is fine.

                      Raising a child from birth when they’re not responsible for any of their actions to a person (adult) who’s considered fully responsible for all of their actions is your paradigm, yes? This learning and developing takes time and a personal as well collective effort, I guess we can agree on this. If so, I assume we can also agree that there’s both a personal and collective responsibility for the outcome.

                      When does this teaching/education stop? Or is it perhaps a lifelong process?

                      However, there are no real formal tests to see how ‘responsible’ a person is at any stage except perhaps for a driving test. There are milestones that one reaches by default without having to pass anything.

                      https://youthlaw.co.nz/rights/legal-ages/

                      This system of one-size-fits-all is not based on functionality or being fit-for-purpose. However, at some point (i.e., at a certain age) one is deemed ‘responsible’ and that seems to be the end of it when they commit a crime, as far as you are concerned, apparently. The collective/community is then fully entitled and justified in washing their hands off the culprit who’s then outlawed and outcast.

                      At least that’s how I’ve been reading your comments, so far.

                      PS Anker did refer to the Dunedin study @ 2.

                  • Belladonna

                    Sorry, have run out of reply links in the correct place.

                    This system of one-size-fits-all is not based on functionality or being fit-for-purpose. However, at some point (i.e., at a certain age) one is deemed ‘responsible’ and that seems to be the end of it when they commit a crime, as far as you are concerned, apparently. The collective/community is then fully entitled and justified in washing their hands off the culprit who’s then outlawed and outcast.

                    At least that’s how I’ve been reading your comments, so far.

                    PS Anker did refer to the Dunedin study @ 2.

                    My belief is that when someone transitions into becoming an 'adult' (and we can debate over what that definition is) in the community, then they assume both the privileges and responsibilities of that status.
                    An adult asks for, and is entitled to receive help from the community, for both personal (e.g. dealing with alcohol addiction) and community (e.g. assistance from the community in raising a child) needs. The community provides that help through government and through charity programmes, as well as individually.

                    An adult who neglects his/her responsibilities, and ignores proffered or available assistance, is responsible for both their actions and the consequences of their actions.

                    If the consequence of those actions is jail time, and a permanent loss of vehicles and licence, and immediate jail if there is future infringement (the 3 specific suggestions I made), I don't see that the community is washing their hands; they are taking reasonable precautions to protect the innocent, from someone who has repeatedly demonstrated that they are wilfully and dangerously irresponsible.

                    There is a point in anyone's life, where you need to stop blaming your parents (or other authority figure of your choice) for the bad decisions you make. Plenty of people have sh*t childhoods and don't grow up to be abusers, drunk drivers or criminals.

                    And, yes, I'm very familiar with the Dunedin study – and commented below.

                    I do think that there is an argument for an extended (perhaps permanent) legal adolescence for some people (e.g. fetal alcohol syndrome) – in recognition that they don't have now (and perhaps never will have) the mental capacity to accept the responsibilities of adulthood. However, that should also be accompanied by a restriction on rights (e,g, supervised living, no right to drink (or take any other semi-legal substances), or drive). I can only imagine how incredibly unpopular this would be….

                    • Incognito

                      This is good, thank you, and I agree with much. I guess the main question is, for me, when and where do we drawn the line and does it have to be a hard line?

                      An adult can ask for help, but many don’t, for all sorts of reasons. Addicts are not necessarily more inclined to ask for help; some are in denial, some don’t even realise they have a problem and/or how serious it is.

                      Jail time per se is purely a punishment, IMO, although it is also a protection of the community (risk removal). Releasing a drink driver from prison without proper new skills and a safety net and wrap-around support system is asking for repeat offending, IMO, because the cause of the problem has not been dealt with. Is that solely the responsibility of the person behind bars and only when they’re behind bars [no pun]?

                      It seems to me that ongoing support and assistance are required to increase the success rates of the alcohol and drug rehabilitation efforts and keep them up for longer. Unfortunately, this goes against the grain for some who deem any money and effort spent on the culprits should rather go to victims and victim support.

                      The problem I have with framing it in terms of blame is that it tends to become a binary case instead of a complex multi-factorial issue in need of an appropriate multi-pronged approach. Yes, plenty of people have had negative childhood experiences but that’s not a helpful argument, in my opinion – it implies that some made good choices and others didn’t without explaining what may have influenced those choices and how they came about. Prisons are apparently full with people who have had childhood and/or head traumas causing all sorts of mental issues, often undiagnosed. This doesn’t mean that they’re off the hook in terms of taking responsibility and/or doing the time, but it does offer insight into more effective strategies. For the record, none of this is a suggestion for ‘going soft’.

  2. Anker 2

    I have been re reading parts of the Dunedin study on criminality and other poor social outcome indicators. Every time I come back to their findings of low self control at 3 years old as predictive of poor outcomes such as criminal offending, substance abuse, teenage pregnancies, and as the Dunedin subjects move towards turning 40, poor health ( the study acknowledges child abuse and poverty as producing poor outcomes) but the self control discovery, should be in key in programmes aimed to reduce negative outcomes. The researchers also noted it was incremental, so even if you were not in the bottom or the top, your level of self control co related with the degree of outcome.

    It was concluded that at an early age, kids could be taught skills to improve self control eg emotion regulation, and then again in early adolescents to try and lessen the negative outcomes for teens that can have a life altering course.

    But with the drunk driver, if all cars were fitted with breathalysers, then ok. As we don’t have that, yes jail is the only place where we can protect others from him. Pure cost benefit analysis probably cheaper to do so.

    my heart goes out to this kid and his whanau

    • weka 2.1

      What was their definition of self control in 3 year olds? Did they dig into why the toddlers were like that?

      • Anker 2.1.1

        https://www.pnas.org/doi/full/10.1073/pnas.1010076108

        Heres the link to the study Weka. I am not sure they teased out why, but I know in two young people who I am close to who had the same family, it was very clear to see. One child had very good self control and was emotionally well regulated. Still able to articulate their needs, so not a fearful child. There outcomes have been great and not too much trouble in adolescence (although sure they got up to a little bit of stuff we don't know about!). The other child was the oppposite and their behaviour during adolescence left them with significant disadvantages that will impact them for the rest of their life (no trouble with the law thankfully)

        I know the old test of self control was to see if the child could delay gratification and the classic test back in the day was offering them a marshmellow and telling them if they waited a bit, rather than eating it now, they would get two. So that test is about the ability to delay gratification. I don't know what tests Dunedin used. I think it was a 45 minute process, plus interviewing caregivers.

        Oh and also it looks like the good self control at 3 years carried over to predict problem gambling at 32 Years old.

        From my own point of view, this isn't about feeling that we can therefore ignore poverty. But it would be one simple test and follow up programme, that wouldn't be too resource intensive that could change the trajectory of a lot of lives

      • Belladonna 2.1.2

        This comes from the longitudinal Dunedin study.

        Self-control was measured by:

        Reports by researcher-observers, teachers, parents, and the children themselves gathered across the ages of 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 y were combined into a single highly reliable composite measure.

        From the appendix, digging deeper into the study design

        Briefly, the nine measures of childhood self-control in the composite include observational ratings of children’s lack of control, parent and teacher reports of impulsive aggression, and parent, teacher, and self reports of hyperactivity, lack of persistence, inattention, and impulsivity. At ages 3 and 5, each study child participated in a testing session involving cognitive and motor tasks. The children were tested by examiners who had no knowledge of their behavioral history. Following the testing, each examiner rated the child’s lack of control in the testing session (3). At ages 5, 7, 9, and 11, parents and teachers completed the Rutter Child Scale (RCS)(4), which included items indexing impulsive aggression and hyperactivity. At ages 9 and 11, the RCS was supplemented with additional questions about the children’s lack of persistence, inattention, and impulsivity (5). At age 11, children were interviewed by a psychiatrist and reported about
        their symptoms of hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity (6)

        https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.1010076108

  3. Muttonbird 3

    I suspect this is deliberate on the part of Scomo and his handlers. A carbon copy of the Boris incident. It appeals to the bogan vote much like the bulldozer comment the other day. Gets him on the news cycle doing, 'something which could happen to anyone,' and allows him to make jokes about it after.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/australia/300591979/australian-election-campaign-goes-off-script-as-scott-morrison-accidentally-tackles-child

  4. Stuart Munro 4

    No smoking gun, but it seems that a cocaine shipment disappeared within reach of the young Mr Putin.

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