The welfare state is unsustainable economically, socially and morally.
Sunday, February 07, 2016
Gang children - growing the problem
"The proportion of gang members and affiliates in New Zealand’s prison population has grown. The 2003 Department of Corrections census of prison inmates showed that gang members and affiliates accounted for 11.5 percent of the sentenced inmates. Over two thirds of those inmates belonged to either the Mongrel Mob or Black Power gangs. As of April 2013, gang members and affiliates
comprised over 30 percent of inmates, with over 10 percent
of the prison population belonging to the Mongrel Mob.
Forty-six percent of prisoners under the age of 19 have gang
"The literature suggests that single-faceted approaches are unlikely to be effective in dealing with gang issues. Suppression in particular has been criticised as largely ineffective in reducing involvement in gangs and offending.
In 2008, the Ministry of Social Development noted that:
A sole suppression strategy is costly…and gains are short term. Suppression has proven the least successful of all interventions and can have a negative impact as members convert stigmatisation into a symbol of status. Further … a reliance on the Police as public commentators on gang issues can be problematic, as many have narrow views of gangs and criminality, which may then be perpetuated through the media leading to simplified notions about how best to respond.
Black Power member Denis O’Reilly similarly notes: “You have got to have an integrated response. But if the only weapon you have is a hammer then everything looks like a nail”.
Moreover, suppressing and imprisoning gang members can exacerbate the problem by providing gangs the opportunity to recruit new members in prisons, dominate prison culture and run criminal activities within prisons such as contraband trading. Prisons are a major recruiting ground for the largest ethnic gang in New Zealand – the Mongrel Mob – and a Mob chapter was formed in Auckland Maximum Security Prison in the late 1970s."
Lindsay Mitchell has been researching and commenting on welfare since 2001. Many of her articles have been published in mainstream media and she has appeared on radio,tv and before select committees discussing issues relating to welfare. Lindsay is also an artist who works under commission and exhibits at Wellington, New Zealand, galleries.