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April 17, 2008

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Poneke

The number of people in prison is around 8000 or so. That doesn't seem like a huge number to house, given our population of around 4m.

Because of much harsher sentencing laws, the numbers have risen sharply. There were 4232 inmates in 1991 and 5780 in 2001.

http://www.corrections.govt.nz/public/pdf/research/census/census2001.pdf

We have the second-highest rate of imprisonment in the OECD. People are in jail here for longer and for crimes they would not be in jail for in other countries, to keep the insensible sentencing lobby happy.

The Optimist

This could be because we were trying to get the crims off the streets. I have done another post on this topic.

We could just give the crims a kiss and send them back out to do it again. What has happened is with the massive increase in crime over the past 60 years many more people have been targeted by crime. The natural required response is to lock up more crims. I think this policy has much further to go because crime is many times too high.

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