Saturday, May 16, 2015

Only Americans would believe this

Thank you to a reader who drew my attention to Bloomberg Politics writing about NZ's innovative approach of actuarial costing to show which social groups are most disadvantaged, and where the money is best spent. The 'program' is about to be employed in Pennsylvania.

But the writer has somehow gotten a bit carried away. Only in America, the most heavily prison-populated country in the dveloped world, would this gem go unquestioned

New Zealand has moved the furthest toward applying data to a range of social services. Along with extra support for children and families, New Zealand’s government is reviewing its driver licensing system after data showed young people in rural areas were being criminally convicted for driving without a valid license, landing them in prison at an annual cost of $87,000 per person.
Do they know how hard it is to get into a NZ prison?


JC said...

Yeah, the reporter got the wrong end of the stick there :)

Still, the drivers licence is one of my metrics like smoking that help to see whats going to happen to young people in the future.. particularly Maori.

I once took 20 odd young Maori to Aussie to work on a contract. I needed extra drivers but only one had a license yet every one of them could drive.

When you dig into it you find these kids are forever paying fines for driving unlicensed and its a source of poverty and eventual crime.

I was involved with a trust for a decade or so that took young Maori who were referred by the courts to teach them work skills and one of the first things we did was get them licensed. Generally they didn't have the reading and comprehensive skills from schools and thus felt they couldn't get a license.

But getting that license proved to be a turning point for many of them.. it improved self esteem, stopped the fines and made them more useful in the work environment.

So thats one positive thing that can be get them reading the road rules, explain and test verbally and get them using their brains for perhaps the first time.

In doing this you help remove the huge problem of thinking just for the minute, this is the bane of undeveloped people everywhere.. they have no real concept of consequences and the future.. they think for a minute or an hour and almost never about the years ahead so life passes them by.


Lindsay Mitchell said...

The Howard League Literacy Programme for teaching in prisons refers to using the Road Code for teaching material. If someone leaves prison with a learner licence that is at least one positive from his or her stay.

JC said...

Good stuff.

Now lets get to work and get all those 30% + smokers in decile 1 and 2 on to E Cigarettes which cost only 10-15% of smokes.. thats a saving for most of about $5000 a year.