Non-Fiction Books:

The Problem of Prisons


Paperback / softback

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The Problem of Prisons by Greg Newbold

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For more than 160 years New Zealand has struggled to find a formula for dealing with criminals in a humane, workable and effective way. Arthur Hume, the first Inspector of Prisons, presided over a regime of hard physical labour and severe discipline under austere conditions. Changing philosophies over the decades meant policies of flogging and punishment diets gave way to homely touches such as budgies, potplants and radios in prisoners cells. Hardening public attitudes to increasingly violent crime in recent years have brought tougher controls on parole, and, recently, the longest non-parole sentence ever handed down. But, under all regimes, reoffending rates have remained disappointingly high. Newbold provides a comprehensive history of the legislative and administrative changes in corrections and interweaves descriptions of the day-to-day realities of prison life as well as more occasional dramas such as the notorious prison escapes by Maori Mac, George Wilder and John Gillies, and the 1965 inmate riot that left Mt Eden almost uninhabitable for days. The Problem of Prisons is the first analysis of the history of the corrections system in New Zealand. It weighs the complex factors that have driven New Zealand's correctional philosophy and practice since 1840.
Release date NZ
January 31st, 2007
Country of Publication
New Zealand
Dunmore Publishing Limited
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