Saturday, 12 March 2011


The reported remarks of Corrections Minister Judith Collins to the New
Zealand Herald: “Police Minister Judith Collins said the actions of looters was akin
to "people who rob the dead". She expected to see the judiciary throw the book at looters.
"I hope they go to jail for a long time - with a cellmate."”(Herald 27 February 2011)
are gravely alarming and show the Minister endorsing prison violence and vigilante justice.

Collins introduced widespread double-bunking in prisons and promoted it in the media. This was despite expert research suggesting that it would lead to more prison rape and violence. Collins is clearly signaling that she thinks looters should be subjected to violence
from their cell-mates, indeed that such violence is a real possibility of her policy of double-bunking. Collins has duty to promote the welfare and rehabilitation of inmates, to engage in this sort of red-neck rhetoric just panders to the basest elements in our society. While Collins clearly has the qualities to be a talk show host and would give Michael Laws a run for his money she lacks the necessary objectivity to be a Minister of Corrections.

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