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Says it all really

Written By: - Date published: 3:21 pm, July 22nd, 2009 - 37 comments
Categories: prisons, privatisation - Tags:

You pricks decided what you were going to do and you’re not listening to me or anybody else. . . You people are not even interested in the people who are going to be living within the environment of a privatised prison.

I actually hold you in f. . .king contempt

From the select committee hearing on private prisons.

37 comments on “Says it all really ”

  1. lukas 1

    I am sorry but this is just plain weird- from the article linked to at Stuff “…Mr Gladwin expressed frustration that prisoners’ views were not being taken into account”.

    So what?

    Did prisoners take into account my views when the stole my television, water pump and car?

    • IrishBill 1.1

      I’m sure they don’t. I’m also sure that every day you fail to take other people’s views into account as you go about your daily life. Should that mean you have no right to have your views heard in any forum? Actually, re-reading your comment I suspect the answer to that should be yes.

      • lukas 1.1.1

        Correct. I, along with a large majority of the country, do not take into account the view of Phil Goff as I go about my daily life for example. However, I do not break the law when doing that. The chap who is now flogging my water pump off on trademe that stops me from showering tonight did.

        See the difference?

        • roger nome

          lukas – do you think capital punishment should be reinstated? A yes or no will do.

      • Swampy 1.1.2

        Is Mr Gladwin a prisoner, or is actually just some kind of busybody? Has he ever been in prison himself?

  2. vto 2

    Ha ha, bloody excellent. Some rudeness dished back to the pollies in return for the rudeness dished out by themselves from time to time.

  3. vto 3

    Yes well I dont mean to be too rude about our dear pollies as they do a job which I wouldnt touch with a barge pole, but there is some resonance within the public with this I imagine given the contempt that they hold the public in at times with their “spin” (or rather, bullshit). This is one of them karma merry-go-rounds and if it plays on the news tonight put your ear to the wind and see if you can hear the gentle rise of laughter breaking out right across the nation..

  4. Ianmac 4

    Of course whenever there is a consultation the outcome has probably been decided beforehand. Super City anyone?
    And today the consultation re bread additives to be deferred, has already been decided. Wot are you complaining about? We consulted with yo all, didn’t we? Eh? Stop whining!

    • Swampy 4.1

      Yes of course, it was the same when Labour was in power of course wasn’t it. Do you have a favourite political party that you support, the fact that a Bill comes to a select committee usually does not result in radical changes because that is democracy resulting from a parliamentary majority.

      I think that Gladwin is a sad case, someone way out on the left whose views are too extreme for 95% of the population, a professional activist who, in reality, would oppose even a left wing government (Labour led) on the grounds they were not ideologically pure enough.

  5. J Mex 5

    What prisoner views should the government have to take into account in this instance?

    The government can make changes to school cirriculum without asking students, hospital waiting lists without asking patients, roads without asking motorists. How is this any different?

    I’m with Lucas to a large degree on this one. Given the choice between asking the prisoners what they would prefer, and the ones paying for their upkeep (us), I know which ones I would be asking.

    I’m not sure the above quote does “say it all” IrishBill. How far should prisoners be listened to, for example, if the non imprisoned populace want the opposite of the imprisoned ones?

    • felix 5.1


      Why pose it as a binary question?

      Do we have to pretend that there are two groups with diametrically opposed views on everything surrounding justice issues and then pick one of those groups and take to heart everything they say whilst simultaneously ignoring everything the other group says?

      Are “prisoners” one such group?

      Is “everyone else” another such group?

      Are these two arbitrary and imaginary groups in complete opposition about everything relevant to the issues?

      If so, how did you come to these conclusions?

      • J Mex 5.1.1

        It’s a fair point Felix, but rather than write a three pager I’ve had to write a short post with a “binary” question.

        I’m sure that they don’t have diametrically opposed views. But rather than list all the things they agree on, cut to the chase and ask what happens when they don’t agree. That’s the interesting part.

        I guess the question to ask is this. Can a prisoner get their views on private prisons heard? The answer is yes.

        How much should those views be listened to, if they run counter to public opinion*?

        * There’s me lumping public into one group again. Please don’t misinterpret that I actually believe these people all have one exact view. This, according to some Standard writers, is only true of National supporters of John Key.

        Fun question: If every prisoner writes in and says they want a foot spa each, as part of a private prison and no non prisoner writes in opposing foot spas, should a foot spa be provided to prisoners?

        • Maynard J

          If they could show that foot-spa provision reduced recidivism by a percentage that was cost-effective relative to the cost of foot-spa provision, then Maynard says ‘go for it’.

          That is half serious – what if prisoners said “we want better access to drug and alcohol treatment, we want better access to education opportunities, and we want better access to skills-based training and work in prisons to prepare us to work on the outside” – would you listen then?

          • J Mex

            Of course I would listen. But that doesn’t mean that they would get it. The cost of giving them all food spa’s needs to be managed against the cost of doing it, and the benefits that could be gained by using that money elsewhere.You could come to me and say that you can reduce recidivism to 0% by giving every prisoner a $10 million annual allowance if they never offend again as an extreme example.

            The exact same concept applies to alcohol and drug treatment and skills training.

            Also, if foot spas were part of the answer but the majority of NZers still didn’t want our government to give them foot spa’s and they couldn’t be convinced otherwise, then I would expect foot spas not to be implemented.

            As an aside, private prisons – properly incentivised to reduce recidivism – would probably look pretty closely at the idea. As well as rehab programs.

            Look, I’ve got no issue with private prisons. If you do, then I don’t see why we can’t implement both and give prisoners the right to chose. A bit like schools really.

      • roger nome 5.1.2

        “Why pose it as a binary question?”

        Because that’s the way sub-normals debate. I call it reductio-ad-redbaiterium. Go have a look at kiwiblog.

  6. BLiP 6

    Hahaha! Good job, Mr Gladwin.

    I’m reading some philosophy stuff at the moment (yeah, bit late, I know) about how the macrocosm can be seen refelcted in the microcosm if only we look. This is a perfect example – Mr Gladwin reflected in his microscopic way the manner in which the John Key National Government Inc. is treating the whole country. Of course, the reflection does not always appear – I wonder if WestPac will be sacking the lawyers that told them they could get away with their latest scam which cost them one hundred times the amount that poor data-entry operator cost them.

    Funny ole world.

  7. Rex Widerstrom 7

    While I have every sympathy with Mr Gladwin and his neighbour, those sorts of comments are all too easy to dismiss with some flippant remark (as Henare did). The issue of private prisons is one that cries out for serious debate because, done right, they can produce significant benefits (and I’m not talking cost savings, though that can be an ancillary one) and done wrong they can become inhumane hells-on-earth.

    Even if they’re not going to listen, better to be on record having warned them of the pitfalls if for no other reason than that, if they get it horribly wrong, they can’t claim not to have been warned.

    And as the nation sniggers at the TV tonight, giving Mr Gladwin an imaginary pat on the back for “sticking it to the man”, will a single one of them give a thought to – or a damn about – the difference? Alas not.

    • jarbury 7.1

      Indeed Rex, as soon as someone start shouting, everyone stops listening. If you really want to make a change and get your point across, the best way is to articulate your argument effectively, to at least pretend you agree with what is trying to be achieved by the overall purpose, and then tell them how they can achieve what they want far far better by doing it YOUR way.

  8. What an idiot. I bet this guy wonders why he wasn’t taken seriously.

    If he was against privately run prisons he should of come up with some stats and hard data and research and not ranted and raved like a lunatic.

    Im guessing those some people would think what he said was fantastic.

    I think it was plan empty and void of fact.

  9. Ianmac 9

    You do remember Brett that stats/science counts for little if there is a “gut” rejection for or against something. Herceptin? Bread additives? Light bulbs? Cellphones? Global warming? Helen/

  10. Ron 10

    Joking aside ( because we know there are a bunch of idiotic “emotional” decisions in that lot, Ianmac) isn’t there room for decisions that are not made on “hard data”.

    I’m thinking that as a society we choose to do a lot of things because we just like it that way:
    The prohibition against incest has no scientific basis
    There’s no reason to start school at 5. The data might well say 7 is a better age or 4.
    We eat cows and possum but not horses or dog.
    Maybe we just don’t like the idea of private prisons.

    • Lew 10.1

      Ron, your examples don’t do you many favours.

      The prohibition against incest has no scientific basis

      Of course it does. Inbreeding. The incest taboo is quite close to being a human universal (though the details vary) because societies which don’t enforce such a taboo don’t tend to last very long.

      There’s no reason to start school at 5. The data might well say 7 is a better age or 4.

      Plenty of kids start education much earlier than 5. And you’re allowed to start ’em later.

      We eat cows and possum but not horses or dog.

      If your class of ‘animals we eat’ includes ‘possum’, then I think it’s just as fair to say that ‘we’ eat dog and horse as well. I certainly know more people who’ve eaten dog or horse than possum, and I’ve eaten all three.

      Maybe we just don’t like the idea of private prisons.

      Maybe we don’t. But usually ‘just not liking’ something is based on some deeper sort of evidence or judgements about how society ought to be. That’s as should be.


      • Ron 10.1.1

        Ok. Shot down. (Isn’t illegal to ea dog? Horse?)
        So I go back to herceptin, folic acid and eco bulbs. Public responses and resulting legislation based on “We dont like it”

        • Jasper

          If it’s illegal to eat dog or horse, then lock me up and throw away the key. The Meatloaf I had last night made with Champ and Mince was absolutely delicious. A great way to save on the costs of Meat too.

  11. stormspiral 11

    There’s a lot of truth in this, Ron. It’s about how we look at things, what our customs and traditions say. We need more than pseudo-logical dogma to change them. They are our values. Maybe some of them need changing, but taking a hammer to them is obscene.

  12. William 12

    Even if one does not ask or pretends not to see the rope and the flashing red flag draped around the philosophical question standing solemnly at attention in the middle of the room, it remains apparent that the mere presence of a private “for profit’ driven prison business in our country undermines the U.S Constitution and subsequently the credibility of the American criminal justice system. In fact, until all private prisons in America have been abolished and outlawed, “the promise’ of fairness and justice at every level of this country’s judicial system will remain unattainable. We must restore the principles and the vacant promise of our judicial system. Our government cannot continue to “job-out” its obligation and neglect its duty to the individuals confined in the correctional and rehabilitation facilities throughout this nation, nor can it ignore the will of the people that it was designed to serve and protect. There is urgent need for the good people of this country to emerge from the shadows of indifference, apathy, cynicism, fear, and those other dark places that we migrate to when we are overwhelmed by frustration and the loss of hope.
    My hope is that you will support the National Public Service Council to Abolish Private Prisons (NPSCTAPP) with a show of solidarity by signing “The Single Voice Petition”

    Please visit our website for further information: http://www.npsctapp.blogspot.com

    Ahma Daeus
    “Practicing Humanity Without A License”

  13. roger nome 14

    Surely we, as a country are better than the “whack-in-nuts” model? What happened to the decent society? Since when did we start treating human beings like rodents? Do New Zealanders really want to be a part of this 19th century barbarism? My guess is no.

    We (the left) could really have been given a rather large stick to hit the right with, if this all goes ahead, and i suggest we use it to flog NACT with until the next election. It would be a dereliction of duty for us to not.

  14. Roger Nome:

    Please give evidence that a privately run prison would be on a par with 19th century barbarism.

    I think you need to put down your wizard of Id comics, and have a look at the track record of the companies that may be in charge of running these prisons.

  15. roger nome 16

    BD – please remove your head from your rectum and do some reading.

    A nationwide study found that assaults on guards by inmates were 49 percent more frequent in private prisons than in government-run prisons. The same study revealed that assaults on fellow inmates were 65 percent more frequent in private prisons


    Also – shifting to private prisons won’t save us any money.

    “a meta-analysis was conducted of 33 cost-effectiveness evaluations of private and public prisons from 24 independent studies. The results revealed that private prisons were no more cost-effective than public prisons, and that other institutional characteristics—such as the facility’s economy of scale, age, and security level—were the strongest predictors of a prison’s daily per diem cost.”


    • Sting 16.1

      Your friend from Otago Uni is having a rather hard on time in prison dear woger.

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