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Ed Sheeran

Prison best home on offer

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There’s a warning of prisons becoming society's response to increased homelessness.

University of Auckland head of Maori studies Tracey McIntosh told today’s Coalition to End Homelessness Conference that New Zealanders seem not only tolerant of high imprisonment rates but keen to see them increase.

She says the billion dollars earmarked for a new prison commissioned by the previous Government would be better spent on housing, especially for the Maori who will end up as the majority of inmates.

"We seem to have a willingness to be able to build prisons to house our people but not look at solutions outside the wire to create far greater communities where social harm is reduced and there are greater levels of flourishing," Professor McIntosh says.

It saddens her that the wahine she has worked with for the past decade at Wiri Women’s Prison, the prison’s self care units are the best homes they have ever lived in.

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