Friday, October 31, 2008

Prison turns over 3,000 beneficiaries a year

Media Release

Friday, October 31, 2008

Figures released under the Official Information Act show that during 2007 2,860 beneficiaries left welfare to go to prison and 3,171 inmates left prison to go on a benefit.

According to welfare commentator, Lindsay Mitchell , the current prison population is around 8,000.

"These figures raise a number of questions, " she said today. "Firstly, the public assume that if benefits are not paid to certain individuals , crime will increase. However these statistics prove that people receiving benefits commit crime anyway. Secondly, does the benefit system have any sort of moral compass when people who have repeatedly broken the law, who have committed the most serious offences, are still entitled to taxpayer support? Thirdly, how successful are prisons at readying prisoners for release if they are cycling on and off benefits? Does the availability of welfare on release undermine the motivation to learn new skills while incarcerated?

And finally these figures show that being on a benefit more than doubles the risk of imprisonment. What research is being done into the backgrounds of prisoners? How many were raised on welfare?

It seems to me that while it is vital to create better policies to deal with the present levels of crime, far more attention needs to be paid to state-funded lifestyles that lead people to crime. Ultimately, relieving able people of a responsibility to support themselves relieves them of life's very productive purpose - working to survive. "


Unknown said...

Quick question Lindsay, and please note I don't want to mis-represent myself, for I'm a Libertarianz Party List member, and will obviously be voting Libz, but my election papers came in the post yesterday, and you're not printed on the ACT list at all.

What gives?

Over time I have directed some of my farming clients to this blog, and I know one or two of them have gotten over their (irrational, but understandable) hatred of Roger Douglas (given the number of farmers who left their land at the end of th 80's, albeit those reforms saved the economy at that stage from extinction): without a chance of getting you into Parliament, ACT won't get their votes.

I mean you're visible, you get media time, you know your stuff, yet other than the top few on the ACT list, I've never heard of the rest: this is daft.

Anonymous said...

These figures are pretty conclusive: if we simply deleted the dole and DPB tomorrow the prison population would halve

sounds like a good policy to me!