Rethinking Crime and Punishment spokesperson Mr Kim Workman suggests that prisoners should be used to rebuild Christchurch.
Mr Workman says the disaster provides an opportunity to use low risk offenders, who make up more than two thirds of those in prison, in a way that would help them and the community.
Mr Workman says that there are real benefits if prison labour is used in the Christchurch rebuild; “Firstly it would save the government money, it costs $94,000 to keep one prisoner in prison. Put them in a work camp is a lot less. Secondly they are making a useful contribution to New Zealand society and third it gives them an opportunity to pay back, to make reparation to the community for some of the harm they may have caused”
With Māori represent nearly 53% of the total prison population, Mr Workman has called upon iwi leaders, who have been putting huge effort into Christchurch to support his idea.