Labour forgetful, Goff and Plughead Pwnd

Labour through Phil Goff and Clayton Cosgrove have been quick to condemn Judith Collins’ plans to make prisoners earn their keep and build their own accommodation.

When Collins announced the plan to use containers Clayton Cosgrove got all outraged.

Clayton Cosgrove, 22 June 2009, Dominion Post, describing the idea that prisoners help build their own cells as “arrant nonsense”: “You need electricity and a latrine so plumbers, sparkies, drainlayers and carpenters are involved. How many P addicts, gang members and murderers are qualified in those skills?”

Poor old Clayton should have checked with the previous Corrections Minister, one Phil Goff, before he opened that huge gaping maw that often acts as a target for his feet but most people call a mouth. Why? Well because Phil Goff said this;

“Inmates will refurbish up to 40 houses a year, stripping the insides and refitting them with new kitchens, vanities, tubs, shelving, aluminium joinery and curtains, some of which will be made in prison workshops … By training prisoners in construction trades we are increasing prisoners’ chances of obtaining meaningful employment on their release in an area that is in desperate need of skilled people” – Phil Goff, 21 March 2008

Gosh, I wonder who is speaking the “arrant nonsense” now, around the feet that are firmly and almost permanently wedged in his gob.

As a public service to Phil Goff and Clayton Cosgrove here are a few facts that can be gleaned from Corrections website:

  • Number of prison beds built by prisoners between 2004 – 2007: 1501
  • Corrections Inmate Employment (CIE) manufactured 2,855 pre-cast panels for the Auckland Regional Women’s Corrections Facility – opened in 2006 – at its concrete yard at Auckland Prison, incorporating 2,500 cubic metres of concrete. This is equivalent to approximately 625 truckloads of concrete.
  • CIE also constructed 275 cell doors and furniture sets for the cells at Auckland Women’s and 180 security grills for cell windows in the High Security accommodation blocks.
  • CIE manufactured 604 doors, 639 cell grilles, 3,914 items of cell furniture including desks, shelving units and beds for Spring Hill Corrections Facility which opened in 2007. CIE Engineering manufactured $3.2m worth of metalwork
  • 13 houses have been refurbished at the SHCF refurbishment yard since it was opened 10 July 2008