On Q+A this morning, Judith Collins couldn’t defend prisons for profit but she sounded quite reasonable when talking about the need for more rehabilitation. She even criticised Labour for longer sentences that are leading to overcrowding in the prisons.
Good sentiments but, funny, it doesn’t sound like the Judith Collins we know.
19 July 2007 “the Government is to make it easier for people to serve much shorter sentences in the first place. That is one of my concerns”
18 May 2004 “When I looked at the purpose of the legislation, I asked myself what it says about the people who signed up for tougher sentencing. It says to the 92 percent of people in this country who signed a referendum for tougher sentencing that they are not important. As we have said, and we all know, rehabilitation does not work.”
5 May 2004 “I have found that a lot of people in the community are very interested in law and order and in tougher sentences being handed down, and I am one of them”
1 April 2003 “We in the National Party are not foolish enough to think that prisons at the moment ever rehabilitate. What they do is keep people in a place where, it is hoped, they will be out of harm’s way and away from the general public. Prison is in fact a punishment. I know that to the Labour Party that is a whole new attitude, but prisons should be places of punishment”
Maybe Collins has had a conversion. Good on her if she has. Or maybe she’s all talk on rehabilitation and the reality will be more ‘lock them up and throw away the key’ ideology.
PS. to Q+A’s producers. It’s meant to be the one serious political interview show on TV. Don’t get politicans’ fiancees on.