NZ’s criminal costs: should prisons be abolished?

Every year, New Zealand spends $1.2 billion on prisons, a bigger amount than that set aside for Early Childhood Education. 

This year, it will total $2.5 billion, with the building of a new Corrections facility at Waikeria Prison underway.

The facility, expected to house 1500 prisoners, is being built in anticipation of our burgeoning prison population - which surpassed 9900 last year.

University of Auckland sociologist professor Tracey McIntosh, whose area of interest is women in prison, believes New Zealand is funding a broken system.

In an interview with Newsroom, McIntosh outlines how redirecting spending from prisons to things like education, housing and economic development is the best way forward. 

Newsroom is powered by the generosity of readers like you, who support our mission to produce fearless, independent and provocative journalism.

Become a Supporter


Newsroom does not allow comments directly on this website. We invite all readers who wish to discuss a story or leave a comment to visit us on Twitter or Facebook. We also welcome your news tips and feedback via email: Thank you.

With thanks to our partners