Sunday, April 20, 2014

Cell phones for ex-prisoners and misplaced outrage

I cannot believe the naysayers on the business of equipping released prisoners with mobile phones that have "pre-programmed numbers for police mentors and other support services."

The Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesperson is "outraged".

 "This is like giving a reward to offenders for completing their sentences," she said. "If free mobile phones are being handed out to anyone, it should be to victims, not criminals."
First, they have served their sentence. Second, it isn't victims who need rehabilitation assistance. Help and support yes, but not mobile phones. Thirdly SST should be supporting attempts to rehabilitate. Their attitude increases risk.

And Jacinda Ardern is just as loopy. She believes "...Vodafone should provide offenders with jobs or training rather than cellphones."

Well that's a slap in the face. It would be great if any potential employer takes on a released prisoner but they do not have an obligation.

I think it's a great idea (still only a pilot at this stage) and couldn't agree more with the sentiment expressed by Serco's director of operations Scott Nairn

"If it prevents just one person from becoming a victim, it will be worth it."

1 comment:

S. Beast said...

Sounds like a perfectly sensible idea.

Prisoners who have been in prison for over 31 days get Steps to Freedom which (financial support on release) which is a maximum of $350 abated by prison earnings, providing a wire thin buffer between integration back into productive society vs return to prison.

This + a cellphone isn't a hell of a lot to make a fresh start, particularly as many prisoners will have non-association orders (eg gang members) and as such won't be able to crash over at a mates place while they find somewhere to live.