By Roger Brooking.
Flying Blind was first published in hard cover in 2011. It was a strictly limited edition made available for free to journalists and members of parliament. It is now available to everyone online.
Sir Geoffrey Palmer, former Prime Minister and former head of the Law Commission provided an endorsement. He said:
“New Zealand has serious problems resulting from the abuse of alcohol and drugs. These problems end up in the criminal justice system. The problem is that the criminal justice system as it is configured at present fails to provide the treatment and rehabilitation that would ameliorate the impact of the abuse and prevent its re-occurrence. In consequence, these problems get worse and the level of offending goes up, not down.
“The evidence about the problem is overwhelming. What is lacking is the will to do what is necessary to make things better. Roger Brooking makes the case for change and there can be no doubt that he is correct.”
Dr Ganesh Nana, Chief Economist, Business & Economic Research Ltd (BERL) says:
“The choice is simple: a fence at the top of the cliff, or an ambulance at the bottom? Roger Brooking favours the fence at the top. And he has compiled formidable evidence that this is not only common sense, but also makes economic sense.
“With the call for heightened accountability in today’s fiscally constrained environment, we hear many claims of the waste of taxpayers’ funds in numerous areas. But, few of these claims are as well documented as in ‘Flying Blind’. It provides a clear argument that spending more and more to cope with increasing incarceration rates is an obvious misuse of our taxes.
“ A compulsory read for officials, policy advisors, politicians and taxpayers alike.”
Nicky Hagar, author of Hollow Men and Dirty Politics says:
“For 10 years, Garth McVicar has argued that the answer to violence and crime in New Zealand was longer and more prison sentences. This so-called ‘sensible sentencing’ has been tried and has failed. If anything, it has made matters worse. We have more and more people in prison while violent crime continues unabated – 80% of it driven by alcohol and drugs. The country is badly in need of some new ideas.
‘Flying Blind’ contains the sort of new thinking that is needed. It is clear, logical and thoroughly compelling. It makes the case for practical and attainable change which, unlike the punitive approach, could actually work. This is a ‘must-read’ for anyone with even a passing interest in crime and justice issues.”