MENZ Issues: news and discussion about New Zealand men, fathers, family law, divorce, courts, protests, gender politics, and male health.

Improving Prison Life

Filed under: General — Downunder @ 12:27 pm Tue 24th June 2014

I grew up believing gaol was for the bad guys; that view would have been further influenced by television rather than any reality in New Zealand; it was not something I gave a great deal of thought to.

One thing I can say now, is that in day-to-day life I have met more men who have been jailed on ‘domestic matters’ than criminal offences, but then again that may be only because there is a greater willingness to talk about the injustice of the ‘justice’ system.

A group calling themselves Justspeak describe themselves in the following way:

JustSpeak is a non-partisan network of young people speaking to, and speaking up for a new generation of thinkers who want change in our criminal justice system.

I have no personal experience of the group or any more than a superficial knowledge of their existence (formed 2011), so any relevant knowledgable comments would be welcome.

The group has released a report on re-thinking crime and punishment, called the Unlocking Prisons Report.

Reading their website the group appears more inclined to capturing the younger generation with a mind to producing a long term change.

I am sure there will be fathers reading this website who have lost children, especially boys, to the criminal justice system through separation and lack of male supervision.

I haven’t read the report, so I cannot comment further. It is available to download at the above link.

Are you a father whose child has gone off the rails after separation, and ended up in the criminal justice system?

What is your experience as a father, the on going relationship with your child once in gaol, and your lives afterwards?

Perhaps you ended up in trouble – do you think that wouldn’t have happened if your parents hadn’t separated?


  1. This news article on the Unlocking Prisons Report says that JustSpeak wants more mothers to have parent-child units in prisons. Although they also recommend that Corrections ‘consider’ providing some for fathers too, their sexist bias seems evident from the article’s statement that when they were quoted as saying

    “JustSpeak said family-friendly measures were more important than ever because the rate of female imprisonment was increasing faster than for males”

    It may well be sensible to try to reduce the damage caused to children through imprisoning their parents, but it’s unknown whether putting children in prison with their parent will do so.

    The fact is that women inmates are already able to have their children up to 2 years old with but fathers have no such privilege. Another sexist law in NZ. Any organisation that does not recognize unacceptability of such sexism tends to lose my trust.

    Comment by Man X Norton — Tue 24th June 2014 @ 10:57 pm

  2. On the children in prison in the care of thier mothers issue.

    This is done to allow bonding with the child, this is very important for the developement of the child.
    Rules apply to who can have thier child with them in prison.
    They are not allowed the child if they have commited a crime against the child.

    Pity these manhating bigots didnt notice that the mothers inherently commited a crime against the child by not putting the name of the father on the birth certificate. How else did the (not criminal father) father not get custody of the child while the mother is in prison.

    Unless to the law: decided it’s in the best interests of a child to leave them in the care of a criminal mother who will commit crimes against children for thier own gain, compared to a law abiding father.

    Are fathers not alowed to bond with thier children.
    Is it not in the childs best interests.

    It is a Human Rights Violation to provide a service to one sex (women) but make no effort to provide it to the other sex (men).

    Then again since it is an international crime to lock people up for more than 23 hours a day, for that not locked up part being a paltry cage. They do exactly that. How does our Minister of Corrections describe her behaviour towards men as not being an act of inhumanity. Shurly if your selling a car for $9999, we can all understand its $10000. Surly the corrections staff can themselves see that thier participation and compliance makes them the torturer, that going to the limit of a law is a act of contempt of it, that should mean that they should face life in prison.

    Its not thier job to intentionaly create psycologicaly damaged citizens, for long term personel finiancial gain of Judith Collins private prison mates, Lawyers and the Police.

    PS Corrections: stop lying about why the prisoners in the Hampton Downs riot, rioted. Tell the truth and stop protecting and providing stupid exuses for yourself.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Wed 25th June 2014 @ 8:41 am

  3. @Man X Norton

    I find that style of response quite ‘common’ amongst left wing initiatives – any negative percentage, anything that could be perceived as making life worse for women, is cause for action, justification for funding, and a token mention of men is the sucker punch to get male support from the community.

    @DJ Ward

    Is there an untold story about the Hampton Downs riot – email [email protected]

    Comment by Downunder — Wed 25th June 2014 @ 9:21 am

  4. Look at the public report on this event, and its attached summary on the corrections website.
    Take into account that it took 1 year with international assistance to dream up this appoligist crap.

    Inquiry finds prison riot well managed. 29 May 2014

    The corrections dept used the ‘alcohol event’ as its reasons for the event taking place.
    Analysis of on air media media events show that the Ministry of corrections are manipulating the facts of the event and presenting it to the public as if all the prisoners were drunk and they rioted because of the effects of it.

    This did not take place, the alcohol was found, not drunk, neither could two little bottles of home brew,(not drunk)even if it was drunk, cause a hole wing of a prison to riot drunk. Two prisoners ‘posibly drunk’ fighting doesn’t cause whole wings to riot either, the other prisoners stand off because they dont want time added to thier sentences.

    This particular prison wing is the Guantanamo Bay of the South Pacific. It is thier treatment of prisoners that needed to be examined, not how well the prison gaurds behaved, so they can be given bravery awards. Its like a dangerous and careless driver being given an award for rescuing the car crash victim from a burning wreck that they caused.

    If your locked up in a prison cell 23+/7 days. Which is what the prisoners were saying was taking place (not mentioned in the report). No contact with family and children. No counseling. No education. Subject to perpetual handcuffing, and forced to bend over and pucker up your asshole everyday (just in case your’ve hiden a Banana for later). How should they behave?. Is corrections saying that they can be as inhumane as they like, but if you act in contempt of it, you,ll be punished.

    The report was propoganda.
    Lying by ommission is still a lie.
    The report is a pathetic joke of a fraud.

    Guess the two fruit a day health campain doesn’t apply to prisoners. Mustn,t care about thier health. Just gaurd safety and thier health.
    Wonder who thier customers are?

    PS since wages based on risks? are the guards, police officers etc, now paid less?

    Comment by DJ Ward — Wed 25th June 2014 @ 11:56 am

  5. Its like a dangerous and careless driver being given an award for rescuing the car crash victim from a burning wreck that they caused.

    Nice analogy DJ Ward.

    Comment by Man X Norton — Wed 25th June 2014 @ 7:20 pm

  6. Not sure who you are or why you think prisoners have it bad, but they don’t, they eat better than most and have great facilities for gym, rugby field, education, work including paid positions that set them up for life after sentence. These people all broke a law that we all know not too, some get out owning homes paid by crime and live so well. I’d trade three years in jail for a million.
    They rioted because they could, like a dog licking it’s balls.
    They didn’t belong in a soft ass rehabilitation facility, wrong security class but not enough beds for assholes.
    If you had ever seen a jail you’d know Hamton Downs is a school camp in comparison. This isn’t a human rights or mens rights issue.

    Comment by too tired — Thu 26th June 2014 @ 3:58 am

  7. Prison is an ideology. The developement of our modern, punishment/protection of the community method has taken centuries. I have not made any comment that it is easy for them, or that it should be easer. I made no comment about wealth or that they should make money or more money.

    My personel beliefs on what our prison system should look like is very different from anything that is presented in my or your statements.

    The fact is that no matter how horrendous the crime that deservidly put them there is, do you want to be the person poking them with a stick all day every day. Treating them with less humanity than you would treat a ball licking dog. All of which is in contempt of the laws you, I assume insinuate that should be upheld.

    Research and foriegn prison system trials show that what we do is not working compared to other methods of imprisonment/rehabilitation. It is clearly your desire to punish them more, to have them leave the prison system in a state that they are unable to function in our society, just as they proved to get into prison, and just as they prove when they re-offend and make all your dreams come true.

    PS The newborn baby is developed into the child, to the teenager, to the adult. Where did you and I fail? How much responsibilty should you and I take in what we have created? and intend to create in regard to these young men.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Thu 26th June 2014 @ 8:39 am

  8. ‘The fact is that women inmates are already able to have their children up to 2 years old with but fathers have no such privilege.’

    That is probably because of the mother’s need to breastfeed the child up till that time.

    Comment by Ewan Eggleston — Thu 26th June 2014 @ 9:00 am

  9. too tired (#6): Those who suggest that housing and treatment of prisoners should be harsher ignore the fact that most of those prisoners will one day be released. The worse we treat prisoners the more antisocial they are likely to become. Humane treatment of prisoners is a hallmark of civilized society.

    However, prisons are certainly not nice places to be. The loss of freedom is serious punishment in itself. Very few people seek to be imprisoned and those few will have complex circumstances. Nearly all inmates count down the days before release.

    In prison there are no “paid positions that set them up for life after sentence”. Some inmates towards the end of sentences are able to get work parole in which they leave the prison to take up a job during working hours and then return to be locked up each day.

    The fact that women inmates are given special units in which they are allowed to live with their children but men have no such provision is most certainly a men’s issue. The fact that women’s prisons are more pleasant and well-appointed than are men’s prisons is also a gender issue. If men are being provoked to revolt in prisons but women’s treatment is more humane and respectful, then that’s a men’s issue too.

    Comment by Man X Norton — Thu 26th June 2014 @ 9:10 am

  10. Too Tired,
    I think you show complete ignorance about prisons.
    What you say is not true. I have spent quite a bit of time involved with prison reform work and have other connections that give me a pretty good insight into the other side of the wire.
    The huge portion of Corrections Prison muster is male. It is very much a men’s issue.
    Yes there are facilities inside like a gymnasium but gym equipment is often not present. The idea that there is work inside is a joke. Yes prisoners receive a few cents an hour for cleaning or other tasks but that just buys a few luxuries like a bar of soap, some fruit or biscuits.
    The punishment is about loss of liberty and fortunately punishments like breaking rocks no longer occur. The psychological torture of imprisonment is much subtler.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Thu 26th June 2014 @ 2:40 pm

  11. I agree exactly with Allan.

    The heart of a society is shown by the care given to the most vulnerable members.

    If I remember right, this comment was said by a lady psychiatrist to a newspaper reporter. Actually, what I mean, she said to him, is that men needing psychiatric treatment are the most neglected and under-cared for members of our society.

    This judgement shows a harsh example of a child denied a properly developmental upbringing (happy childhood)

    How and Why:
    Child Neglect – The Bomb in the Brain

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Thu 26th June 2014 @ 5:19 pm

  12. ‘The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons’
    We closed down psychiatric hospitals in the 1970 and 1980’s. Now the largest psychiatric institutions in NZ are our prisons. 🙁

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Thu 26th June 2014 @ 7:37 pm

  13. ‘The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons’
    We closed down psychiatric hospitals in the 1970 and 1980″²s. Now the largest psychiatric institutions in NZ are our prisons.

    For men, yes.

    For women, it’s an ordinary house in an ordinary suburb, with some children to keep them occupied.

    Comment by Downunder — Thu 26th June 2014 @ 7:47 pm

  14. I wrote this nearly 20 years ago. I watched an Oprah Winfrey show on executions in the US of innocent people. Sounds like a modern Protection order, but the prison is out here, in our illusionary freedom. Also just met a young man who served a good lag, just another victim of the epidemic, cycles of violence, child to parent, to child to parent, etc etc. Beaten down by societies prejudices against him.

    Where does time go
    Sitting in your cell
    Escape from your innocence
    Your going to hell

    Try calling to an angel
    But an echo in your cell
    Concrete walls as its barrier
    Counting down the days

    Deaf ears in the dungeon
    Societies not awake
    Blinded in its darkness
    The devil awaits

    But you know the answer
    Try calling an angel
    Maybe someone will hear
    Silent screams of innocence

    But they will not hear
    Save those to tie you down
    Hearing an echo of an angel
    When time goes

    Comment by The man in Absentia — Wed 23rd July 2014 @ 4:11 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Please note that comments which do not conform with the rules of this site are likely to be removed. They should be on-topic for the page they are on. Discussions about moderation are specifically forbidden. All spam will be deleted within a few hours and blacklisted on the stopforumspam database.

This site is cached. Comments will not appear immediately unless you are logged in. Please do not make multiple attempts.

Skip to toolbar