We read this article today posted on the Kiw Kids News web site.
New Zealand criminals are being given free mobile phones when they leave prison.
The idea is being trialled to see if people will stop reoffending when they get out of jail.
The programme is being run Mt Eden Prison and is being sponsored by Vodafone who provide the phone and pay the first month of a basic contract.
The phones have pre-programmed numbers for police mentors and other support services.
Participants are issued with a basic model Vodafone 155 mobile phone loaded with pre-approved support service numbers to assist with their reintegration, including looking for a job.
Only a handful of prisoners have been given the phones but if the project is successful it will be introduced at the new prisons around the country.
As you can imagine the article sure created some difference in opinions and justifications as to why handing out phones was a good idea or a bad idea. Below are some of our thoughts.
I think that criminals shouldn't be issued with phones because some people have no phone and haven't done anything wrong so they might commit a crime to get thrown in jail, just for a new phone.
I think prisioners should be given the basic phones as they can keep in touch with a police mentor who will help them to make better decision.
The phones will also help them to get a job and not go back to jail.
I don't think the prisoners should be given a phone because they might call someone and threaten them to give them money.
The criminals shouldn't be given free phones because some people will try to get into jail to get a phone and because the people in jail get a phone but the good people (the ones not in jail) don't get a phone. So Vodafone are basically giving people a phone for being bad.
What are your thoughts on this latest initiative?