We can never naturalise or normalise the prison – Dr Tracey McIntosh

A proposal by the Labour-led Government to spend $1 billion on a new prison in the Waikato region has caused outrage from 32 leading academics urging the Government to stop building more prisons. 

One of the academics is the Professor of Indigenous studies at the University of Auckland, Dr Tracey McIntosh who works to help rehabilitate offenders.

In an interview with Māori TV's Kawekōrero show today, McIntosh expressed her strong disapproval towards spending the $1 billion on expanding and building new prisons rather investing in a whānau friendly alternative. 

“We can’t think of the prisons as a solution to what is often social problems, economic problems, and many cases political problems,” says McIntosh. 

The Criminal Psychologist expert also believes that the money can be better invested back into the community and in terms of rehabilitating prison offenders.

“Prisons do not produce the types of outcomes that we want for the whānau, for communities or for the nation.”

She goes on to say, “The idea that there are no other options then the prisons show an absolute poverty of spirit and poverty of imagination.”