6 comments on “Prisoners aren’t really human – so torture and scalping are fine

  1. Hi Roger,

    “Snowflake”? “Bleeding heart blouse”? Goodness me, we are co-opting the language of our oppressors.

    For the record, I think Smith is “a piece of shit” for the reasons listed in my blog:

    (1) He sexually abused a young boy.
    (2) He then went to that boy’s house and killed the boy’s father.
    (3) He then took advantage of a prison release process intended to help prisoners reintegrate into society to escape the country, which had the all-too-foreseeable effect of causing the prison authorities to clamp down on the programme and thus screwed over a whole lot of other prisoners.

    In addition to this, we may look at Smith’s 2014 parole decision, where the parole board noted the fact he committed multiple fraud offences whilst in jail, hasn’t payed to his victims the reparation ordered against him (despite having the means to do so), and continues to describe his original offences as “spur of the moment” actions.

    So I don’t call Smith a “piece of shit” because he is in prison. I call him that because he repeatedly acts in a shitty way towards other people. Just as, for instance, I think Donald Trump and Cameron Slater are both “pieces of shit”. Because if it walks and quacks like a duck … .

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    • Andrew, no offence intended but it seems to me that you are the one using the language of a well known oppressor – Garth McVicar. The SST has been oppressing prisoners human rights for 20 years with similar comments, and your labelling of Smith in this way simply adds fuel to his fire.

      Penal populism is a battle for public opinion and McVicar has been winning that battle for years. You’re an academic. If someone in your position denigrates those in prison, you bring yourself down to McVicar’s simplistic level of analysis. You should know better than to join him in such common vernacular – which makes your reasons for doing so irrelevant.

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      • “…writes self-indulgent blog posts at pundit.co.nz.” (From the Otago University website). Says it all really. Andrew, would you like to indulge yourself enough to tell us what your doctoral thesis was about please? Just curious. I don’t see that information mentioned on the particular part of the site that I was reading. Cheers.

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  2. Restraining people for long periods has been standard mental health practice for decades even when they haven’t committed any crime. Done to children in fact. One could say they are getting mental health treatment. They have no mental health treatment that works, hence they are restrained. It’s still been done in current psych wards.

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  3. Of course prisoners aren’t human they are convicts. Take away their right to vote and they cease to be citizens. Most of them probably seldom vote anyway and think poloticians are shit. The latter thought being fairly accurate. 90% of voting public probably seldom spare a waking thought about prisoners unless a family member is inside or something on TV News capures their attention for 30 seconds.

    Of course the blame for the plight of prisoners cannot all be hung on Corrections staff who have a thankless job. The real blame rests with Judges who delight in sending people down and politicians who allow a derilict farmer to direct law and order policy. Obviously there are some monsters who deserve locking up and throwing away the key but that would only account for 10% of the prison population and there are more of those monsters living in the community including a few who inhabit the Beehive.

    During a recent incarceration I developed serious health issues that the prison health service is ill equipped to deal with. One of the consequences was lower limbs and feet swelling to twice normal size leaving me barefoot 24/7 because my footwear no longer fitted which further aggravated the problem. Corrections adopted the ‘not our problem’ stance and medical staff could only offer sympathy. On the morning I was released my driver brought out slippers three sizes larger than my normal footwear but gatehouse staff refused to take those to Receiving Office for me to wear when exiting. Those same cretons laughed as I stumbled over rough stony terrain barefoot because watching prisoners suffer is the only perk of the job.

    As for Ray Smith and his spin doctor minions they operate on the “what’s behind closed doors stays behind closed doors” principle and any negativity sent their way is quickly denied. SERCO were blamed for fight clubs but throughout public prisons staff actively encourage violence and provoke misbehaviour so that they can con the world into believing they have a tough job and that anti-social behaviour is the norm for prisoners.

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