Simon Bridges says the weirdest things – Criminal Justice

Written By: - Date published: 10:29 am, September 1st, 2018 - 30 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, crime, journalism, Media, national, newspapers, prisons, same old national, Simon Bridges, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: ,

I thought this might be an occasional post to point out the weird and strange things that Simon Bridges says. I did not think that I would put up two posts in a week.

This one is all about the Criminal Justice system.  Labour is grappling with making fundamental changes to reverse our appalling incarceration rates.  But National still want to play politics with the issue.  And trot out the good old lauranorda dog whistle.

Although a week ago there were signs that National may be backing away from the three strikes law.

Ten days ago David Fisher at the Herald published this:

National leader Simon Bridges has shifted on his refusal to consider changes to the Three Strikes law after it emerged the country’s most dangerous criminals are being released without access to programmes considered critical to stopping further offending.

Bridges last week told the Herald the law was fit for purpose.

Today, he said consideration would be given to changing the legal tangle which blocks those with convictions for serious violence from programmes designed to stop further lawbreaking.

Bridges endorsed Three Strikes as an effective law, saying it worked to deter people from committing further crimes.

The Herald has revealed the gap in the law which meant those with Second Strike and Third Strike offences could not take part in reintegration programmes intended to ease passage back into society.

Those with Second Strike and Third Strike offences must serve either their full sentence without parole, or the maximum possible sentence without parole.

The Corrections Regulations block offenders not eligible for parole from going outside prison, meaning reintegration programmes such as release-to-work – which allows cash to be saved for release – are not available.

One hundred second strike offenders have been released since the law came in. The first Third Strike offender has just been sentenced to a maximum possible seven years after pleading guilty to stabbing someone in the leg.

Bridge said Three Strikes had worked better than envisaged.

“It has deterred people from serious crimes and seen fewer people graduate to the second and third strikes. We would rather see our worst offenders in prison and fewer victims.”

Bridges’ comments are in contrast to Ministry of Justice advice which found no evidence Three Strikes made any difference.

The criticism, that the three strikes law would make reintegration of prisoners back into society more difficult, has been repeated and repeated ever since the law was mooted.  It is good that National is finally catching up.

But Fisher did something very clever.  He asked Bridges to provide research that he relied on to make the claim that the Three Strikes law was working better than envisaged.

Nek minnit

National leader Simon Bridges has provided the basis for claims the threat of prison stops crime – an unpublished study that has not been peer-reviewed that suggests the worst offenders aren’t put off by the prospect of prison.

The paper studied a mass pardon in Italy and found reoffending rates showed certain inmates were put off further offending by the prospect of prison.

The research paper was provided by Bridges after the NZ Herald asked for the evidence to support his claim the Three Strikes legislation deterred people from committing further crime.

And Fisher sets out the pesky details:

The study – Criminal Discount Factors and Deterrence – said “imprisonment does have the potential to deter crime”.

But it showed any deterrent effect was not in areas likely to impact on New Zealand’s recurring offender or prison population.

It found there was a strong potential deterrent effect on prisoners who were educated and older.

Of those in New Zealand prisons, 71 per cent of people do not have literacy levels sufficient to cope with daily tasks and 65 per cent were aged under 40.

Talk about cherry picked research.  One paper from regarding Italy that was not peer reviewed and that concluded that a three strike regime for white collar criminals might work is held up to justify a claim that the local three strikes law is working.

Andrew Little is right.  We really do need a mature debate about our Criminal Justice system.  Looks like the chances of this actually occurring are poor.

30 comments on “Simon Bridges says the weirdest things – Criminal Justice”

  1. Sabine 1

    Maybe we need to have a discussions for what we throw people into prisons and the length of time.
    Once we can weed out certain issues such as drug use, drug selling to fund drug use, growing weed, possession of weed, etc , we can start taking treating these issues as a. a health issue and often a mental health issue and b. weed could be decriminalized, growing for own use could be allowed etc. We might be able to empty out prisons of non violent offenders and of people who should rather be in rehabilitation and with mental health services.

    However i really don’t believe that Labour will go there, and I can see the No Mates Party (NMP) going there simply to get elected. What the NMP will do after election is of course written on a different sheet of paper.

    So no matter what the Leader of the NMP says, the ball is in Labours court and they could get the ball rolling anytime they want too.

    • dukeofurl 1.1

      Really.
      Isnt ‘growing your own’ happening now and personal use largely ignored
      The health system isnt even coping well for people with other mental health issues , so the idea that ‘ treating it as a health issue’ is just a word salad, that means nothing.
      There will be NO treatment available. ( unless there are other pyschotic symptoms)

      Does alcohol largely being regulated and freely available means the issues go away…why would moving ‘other drug use’ close to that mean we can solve anything ?
      The example of synthetic cannabis was a monumental failure, they type that occurs when hopes triumph over reality. Of course the meth testing in houses/rentals was an example the other way.

      • Sabine 1.1.1

        The point is not that it is ‘ignored’ or not. The point is that it is illegal and a criminal activity and if the copper has a bad day, or you are of the wrong pigmentation chances are you are arrested. The war on drugs, is a war on poor people, people with mental issues, people that often self medicate. I don’t care if they grow it themselves or someone else grows it for them it makes no difference to the law. Possession is illegal. Selling is illegal. Growing is illegal. Use is illegal. And our prisons are full to the briim.

        Alcohol is regulated, legal and you can buy it to your hearts content and in most cases people use it respectfully.
        As for people abusing alcohol, again i would start with mental health issues and urge more funds for mental health services. Alcohol abuse is often simply just a way of self medicating . As for people going on a rampage killing and maiming others while on the piss, that would then clearly be a criminal issue that should be handled as, with the person being incarcerated and again receiving all the mental health care they need to understand just what they did and maybe turn into a better human being.

        As for synthetic smoke (it ain’t cannabis and should never be referred to as such, ist chemicals mixed into some italian herbs), please go and complain to Peter Fucking Dunne and his enablers.

        My point, that you refuse to see and acknowledge, is simply stop throwing people away for something that is not a ‘real’ crime against others. So as long as a drug user does not physically harm others, or cause damage to their property they should not go to prison. It costs more to keep them locked for years without treatment then to send them to a proper detox (not some wannabe centre of pray the addiction away), provide them with the mental health care they need, the social help they need to get back to their feet, and maybe just maybe the outcome would be better. The costs saved by not locking people up at thousands over thousands of dollars could be invested in mental health care services.

        Everything can be abused and cause harm. But not everything is illegal. However drugs are and our war on drugs has filled prisons, ruined lives, made money for those peddling in misery, gave a career to Peter fucking Dunne, and cost the taxpayer dearly. Time to change the course.

        What you suggest is doing nothing. And that my friend is really sad.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1

          +111

        • dukeofurl 1.1.1.2

          Sabine, Do you think I give a shit that its ‘sad’ . To me what was really sad was a friend who smoked virtually every day (from his 20s) till a stroke meant he had to learn to speak again in his late 40s.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        The example of synthetic cannabis was a monumental failure, they type that occurs when hopes triumph over reality.

        A large part of the problem with ‘synthetic cannabis’ was that it was on the market before the government got round to regulating it. It was neither regulated nor illegal by the rather rather frightful oversight that it wasn’t in the list of drugs at all. This is what happens when a law is too specific.

        And then, because it was already on the market, the National government through their shill Dunne made it legal with some really atrocious legislation that didn’t even pause long enough to properly test it to see if it was as harmless as the dealers said it was. Another instance of the government listening to business over the public and even simple logic.

        To stop shit like this we need a law that prevents all products being brought to market until after the government has tested it and put it under the right regulations.

        Of course the meth testing in houses/rentals was an example the other way.

        Meth testing of housing was another government guaranteed profit stream for the private sector which is (IMO) why, despite what they said, National kept it as it was.

      • Ken 1.1.3

        If those laws are being “largely ignored”, then why are they still on the books?

        You can bet that if it’s a child of a lawyer or politician, their possession of weed will be ignored…….not so much the children of a South Auckland factory worker.

        • Richard@Downsouth 1.1.3.1

          the anti-blasphemy law was still in effect last I heard… apparently its pretty much ignored… politicians have issues on how they are viewed, and often vote due to this… not because its the right thing to do

  2. Incognito 2

    Without any expertise in the area (and it’s 53 pages long!) I read the Conclusions (quite accessible to a lay-person) of that research paper and they were more subtle than Bridges would like us to believe, it seems. In any case, a one-off mass pardon is not the same as the NZ Law and situation that Bridges likes to compare it with. Spot the differences:

    In an attempt to reduce prison overcrowding, more than 20,000 inmates, corresponding to over one-third of the entire prison population, were released over a period of a few weeks.

    BTW, the paper as such was not from Italy.

    [Yep clumsy phrasing by me. Will amend – MS]

  3. All lawyers must be embarrassed to think this guy was a crown prosecutor – bit like when a filthy dairy farmer lets all dairy farmers down and all are sullied.

  4. AB 4

    “It found there was a strong potential deterrent effect on prisoners who were educated and older”
    Interesting – we can expect National to support 3 strikes for white collar crime then?

  5. ianmac 5

    A few decades ago one of the advocates for prison reform said that the first 28 days spent in prison were devastating. It was shattering to realise that your identity and freedoms, and privacy were so restricted.
    But after 28 days most people get used to fitting into the system. It becomes normal to obey instructions and loss of freedom is accepted.

    So shorter sentences would seem to deter first time offenders.

  6. pete 6

    We need a mature debate? That cuts out Bridges, Adams, Collins et al then.

  7. Macro 7

    What ever we do we must never let Simon get a hold of this research:

    Criminal Activity Higher Amongst Those Born With Pixilated Faces Study Finds .

  8. Ad 8

    My company is finding it so hard to get staff that it has been training and hiring ex-cons.

    We have a long-term partnership with MSD to do it.

    We need this headline unemployment to go even lower so that other employers are forced to re-train the low-tariff offenders who can get out and get a shot at life again.

    Bridges is a fucking child, a juvie progeny addicted to ppp banker conglomerates who are ever-replicating our carceral state.

    Andrew Little is a hero and I wish all power to him.

  9. gsays 9

    If these brainfarts continue, the series of posts could be called ‘Bridges say the darndest things’, in honour of the Art Linklater show from the 70s.

  10. I reckon we need to be more like Baloo,… my sort of bear.

    All this skulduggery,… when it could all be so simple, funny and good natured…

    The Bare Necessities (from The Jungle Book) – YouTube
    Video for bear necessities you tube▶ 2:13

  11. Hey Simon… this ones for you.

    Called Lost prayer on a stormy day.

    Beautiful song, dude. And I remember your father Heath. A wonderful good natured man at Te Atatu Baptist church. The senior Pastor. A real fathers heart. What happened, Simon ?

    Zakk Wylde – Lost Prayer – YouTube

  12. Chris T 12

    It’s all a bit of an irrelevant discussion as it depends on what side of the bed Winston woke up on that day

    Is he against three strikes this week or for it this week?

    • reason 12.1

      Pretty feeble derail chris T …. how does your comment relate to the brain farts, and dishonesty that dribbles out of two faced Simons mouth ?.

      If I wanted to drag in a politician I don’t like ….. I could use Judith Collins ….. which is more relevant than your derail …. as Judith defends white collar crims …. I’ll link if you argue 🙂

      Our statistics are not ( yet) as bad as the usa ….. but in this short doco Jimmy Carter makes the observation there is 7x the prison population from when he was president.

      Other points he raises relate to NZ as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhebmG148Zo

      • Chris T 12.1.1

        That is great, but nothing changes unless Winston says so

        • Incognito 12.1.1.1

          Let’s counter this and again roll out the reductio ad absurdum: should we cease all political discussions now, Chris T?

          • Chris T 12.1.1.1.1

            Of course not, but an acknowledgement in the article, as to the reason Labour haven’t got rid of them in amongst blaming the opposition for them being there might have been apt

            • Incognito 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Good to hear that political discussion is still relevant and allowed even though “nothing changes unless Winston says so”.

              I think you may have glossed over the second paragraph:

              This one is all about the Criminal Justice system. Labour is grappling with making fundamental changes to reverse our appalling incarceration rates. But National still want to play politics with the issue. And trot out the good old lauranorda dog whistle.

              You do remember who brought in the Three Strikes Law, don’t you? [hint: they are currently not in Government]

              You also seem to have missed the final paragraph:

              Andrew Little is right. We really do need a mature debate about our Criminal Justice system. Looks like the chances of this actually occurring are poor.

              I agree that this means stopping with silly finger-pointing and blame-games and start dealing with facts, for starters. Are you up for this?

        • reason 12.1.1.2

          Boo hoo chris …. two faced Bill English or forked tongue Simon were squealing they damn near had a right to form a coalition Govt with NZ first after the election …. because the Nats had won the election by being the biggest minority ….

          But someone in the Nats shot them in the foot by doing a dirty politics type set up and smear on Winston before the election ….

          Just like they had the election before …

          Nationals dirt is part of what gives Winston his lifts in popularity …. ie Mike Sabins career and crash in the National party.

          If Winston was in power with the Nats … it’s unlikely he’d let the white collar criminality and asset stripping that Judith Collins defends or is involved in continue full steam …

          Nor is is great stuff to always be building more and more expensive prisons …

          ” “The government minister responsible appears to believe the whole episode provides a grand excuse for New Zealand’s regulators to pat themselves on the back rather than hang their heads in shame over years of harbouring thousands of crooked accounts:

          “Revenue Minister Judith Collins said the drop in trust numbers was not surprising and it shouldn’t be assumed that was because many had been handling the proceeds of illegitimate activities. “There is a much heavier compliance burden under the new regime with more disclosure required than ever before.”.. she said, adding New Zealand now had a “world class regime”.[Stuff NZ]

          Who believes that – after all, how burndensome is it to write down your own name?

          Nor is this system yet ‘world class’. The New Zealand Government have notably refused to extend to the full transparency that would actually be expected of a benchmark regime i.e. an open register where journalists and others could cross reference potentially illegal activity.

          This means that, for example, Sarawak Report is unable to inform Malaysians whether Jho Low and his family are one of the few to have re-registered their trust in New Zealand. ” … Sarawak report

          Same subject …. around the 35 minute mark … you’ll hear a bullshitter like judith …. and her transparency.

    • dukeofurl 12.2

      You might want to think about Soimuns flip flops…and no not the footwear kind

      he finally found out NZ had a housing crisis…. so that he could call it Labours fault.

  13. Gabby 13

    But what about whataboutism christy?

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