Morning Report item on the Roper Report and prison reform.
The Roper inquiry into the future shape of the New Zealand’s prison systems has been labelled as too expensive and too liberal. The report contains over two hundred recommendations, but the main proposal is the building of community based centres for prisoners focussing on rehabilitation rather than punishment. The programme is as follows:
- Mark Hannan outlines the recommendations.
- Justice Minister Geoffrey Palmer voices his reservations about some of the recommendations.
- Penal Reform Committee chairman, Sir Clinton Roper, endorsed the report and says the current system is not working.
- Reaction to the report comes from Anglican minister Eru Potaka-Dewes, Prisoners Aid spokesperson Pat Booth, criminologist John Pratt, Campaign Against Violence spokesperson Odette Leather, and opposition Justice spokesman Paul East.
- Geoffrey Palmer rejects the idea that the prison reform proposals would create country clubs for criminals, as suggested by MP John Banks.
- Sir Clinton Roper says the Penal Reform Committee found that prison was an absolute failure as a way of deterring crime and rehabilitating criminals.
- Criminal lawyer Mike Bungay, QC, gives his assessment on the report.