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Friday, October 27, 2006

PRISON BLOG 30


Police Racial Profiling in the 21st Century

I don’t think I mentioned the optional form us heinous criminals are asked to fill out when we render our DNA to the police so they can frame us help detect crime. It asks the criminal to list the ethnic composition of their parents and grandparents: European, Maori, Chinese, Pacific Islander, Indian, etc.

Now, why would the police want to do that? I searched the form for an agency but all I could see was it was for the police. Hmmmm. How very interesting. How very perplexing. How very….unsettling. Yes it is voluntary, but what would the police possibly want that for? And are they aware given the off-hand guess-work or deliberate mistakes by the criminal that their testing will have highly suspect results?

They wanted fractions of ethnic composition, that is to say racial composition, that is to say racial blood quotient, that is to say a promulgation of Dr. Brash’s amateur racial hygiene and eugenics programme, perhaps? What’s next – phrenological calipers and head gauges? Is this a police search for the “warrior gene”?

I note the police aren’t asking anything other than racial blood quotient and this is to be used for the DNA sample. They aren’t asking if your parents or grandparent’s were criminals, they aren’t asking about medical complaints or disabilities or anything at all except race. Why? So they can analyse some suspect DNA and tell the public they’re looking for a person whose mother’s father was half Jewish and Indian and father is Pacific Islander and European on his mother’s side? Why not height? Why not weight or build? Why only race?

DON’T FORGET Tim’s Book and magazine collection for the Prison Library, please send your books and magazines to:
Tim Selwyn
Librarian/Unit 7
Hawkes Bay Prison
Private Bag 1600
Napier, NZ


Tim Selwyn (Editor of Tumeke!)
PRN 60477981
Hawkes Bay Prison
Currently appealing sedition conviction

23 Comments:

At 27/10/06 12:21 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

aww poor timmy..doesn't really get the idea does he. why would they not ask for height, weight, sickness, disabilities etc? because crims are asked those directly along with their photo taken. is the ethnic background not a voluntary questionnaire timmy? oh yes it is. why would they want to gather such info? to build profiles for investigating crime. gee you are hard done by aren't you little timmy.

 
At 27/10/06 12:43 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasn't it this testing that eventually cought (not framed you idiot) the killer child killer years latter (I am ashmed to say I have forgotton the poor girls name, victims are so quickly forgotten aren' they.)

Didn't it also find the criminal who did the rape that someone else was in prison for.

The moral of the story tammy is if you don't like the consequenses of being a criminal be a good little boy.

Remember tammy most people manage to get through life without going to jail - amazing but true - although very few get through life without being the victim of crime.

 
At 27/10/06 12:49 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Theresa Cormack.

 
At 27/10/06 1:26 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for that.

A pity it took 15 years, I think the police admit their invetigation was pretty hopless and Mikus should have been a prime suspect at the time. For years they were convinced the killer was someone else so lets hope they have learned from this as well.

As I understand it without the DNA Mikus could never have been charged (let alone convicted) with this killing.

Lets hope this career criminal never gets out.

 
At 27/10/06 1:45 pm, Anonymous anna mouse said...

Wow – Tim really get’s you all this angry doesn’t he – look at the condescending ‘timmy’ stuff mixed with your hick ill thought out opinions of how righteous you are. Tim isn’t arguing against DNA – he is asking what the Police need with the racial profiling details – but you all missed the point in your rush to put the boot in. The more I read your venom, the more I see that it is people like you who are the problem, not Tim.

Don’t let the bastards get you down Tim!

 
At 27/10/06 1:54 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well said anna - ive been visiting this site for a while now and always find the blogs bloody interesting - but the hate some of the people post here and spew out always manages to prove bomber right about rednecks. I'm impressed you don't moderate this site and let their comments stand - it really gives you an insight into the way they see things and why we can't let that thinking dictate our society.

have a great weekend

tom

 
At 27/10/06 3:43 pm, Anonymous Russell said...

don't worry tim amnesty international are coming to your aid as we speak...

Amnesty calls for jailed bloggers to be freed


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=2&ObjectID=10407872

 
At 27/10/06 3:59 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nearly every form I have ever filled out in NZ has asked my racial background.

Everything from a job application to enrolling in a college course and many times it is not voluntary. I suspect it is for the department of stats to work out where resources are being used and where they are to be directed in future. For example, it you identify as Maori you are often eligible for special help, support and programs.

Many stats on crims are collected, age, sex, race, religion …… maybe Bomber, with all his contacts and influence, can get information about how they are used.

If you have ever worked in a government department you will know collecting stats is a big part of the job, I often used to think they were a waste of time but as a low-level worker I was more worried about paying my rent than changing the world.

I don't think its anger that Tim gets I think its more like sad amusement, you have to admit he is a bit of a cry baby so I think Timmy kind of suits him.

As for misspelling names, abuse, obscenities etc. that’s a tradition started by Bomber (or maybe Tim ??) isn’t it - I assume he thinks it clever or smart, I find it as stupid and silly as he is, having said that don’t give it out unless you are happy to take it so if people find it amusing why worry.

It’s rather worrying to me that some people make 'heroes' of people in prison and demons of people who work and live their lives in honest and respectable ways.

Personally I prefer people who aren’t criminals, not just the worst of the worst, I think society would be better without stealing, graffiti and hooligans as well, things that many people seem to find acceptable.

 
At 27/10/06 4:17 pm, Anonymous anna mouse said...

See what I mean about getting people worked up like that guy? I bet he worked on that all afternoon!

 
At 27/10/06 4:20 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hahaha - anna - do you think that guy keeps a copy of every single post he writes?

Tom

 
At 27/10/06 4:26 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

why do the police want race details?

 
At 27/10/06 4:29 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So anna, why do you think they are asking about ethnicity?

 
At 27/10/06 4:41 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think these things are asked for a technical reason - to do with different genetic markers in different ethnic groups.

 
At 27/10/06 5:33 pm, Blogger Lyndon said...

I would comment of the anonymity of people disparaging and/or misunderstanding Tim's point. But, uh, everyone's anonymous.

Speaking as someone with a tenuous understanding of DNA, I can't think of a single reason related to the primary purpose - identifying individuals.

Possibly someone's researching extrapolating the race of an (unidentified) person from DNA. I don't imagine that would be especially reliable.

I'd have thought that would be something that would need to be covered by the consent.

Unsettling is about right to me.

 
At 27/10/06 8:19 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet many people here spent most of the afternoon working and making a lving.

For those who are literate writing a post takes about a minute, there are more important things for a whole afternoon I reckon, mind you Bomber seems to have a heck of a lot of time on his hands, maybe he's rich - lucky bugger.

 
At 28/10/06 9:48 am, Blogger halod1 said...

Don't worry friends. It isn't voluntary that they give the DNA sample.

 
At 28/10/06 4:48 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does Tim have any evidence of DNA being used to 'frame' people in NZ.

With or without DNA is Tim suggesting he was 'framed'.

Perhaps the police should just wait for the guilty to walk into their nearest police station and own up.

 
At 29/10/06 11:11 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The police do not keep, record or retain the DNA Ethnicity part of the questionaire documentation. It goes, with the sample, directly to the ESR where it is used when obtaining a genetic DNA profile from the doners sample.

Grandiose paranoia side, police do not use that information at all.

 
At 29/10/06 12:04 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another question on criminal forms is religion – is it also voluntary I believe. An increasing number of criminals are identifying as muslims but I suspect that has more to do with the extra food allowed in than anything else.

I assume the statistic is used to allocate how much funding religious groups get in prisons but I don't know.

Most (if not all) prisons have a full time chaplain paid by the taxpayer and they also have full time catholic representative but I am not sure who pays them. There is no atheist, humanist or similar secular funding.

In fact I would say a crim who identifies as a believer in a religion gets special treatment, the PM may say (when it suits her) that NZ is a secular country but NZ prisons aren’t.

There is an army of religious groups in jails every day. Many visitors, that apparently represent a religion, have a lot of access to units and criminals - it doesn’t seem to be working but I am sure that won't matter.

There are absolutely no checks on what these ‘religious’ groups and visitors are promoting in jail but they and some of the Maori teaching, do not seem to be helping criminals show any respect towards women prison officers, which, of course, keeps them in line with how women are treated by male prison officers and the ‘women’ at head office.

No-one, even the ‘woman’, atheist (coward) PM, dares question the actions of the religious groups in prisons or is prepared to cut their money, mind you she doesn’t question the use of pornography in prisons either – welcome to NZ, great place to be a woman but only is you enjoy abuse, harassment and rape.

 
At 29/10/06 1:28 pm, Anonymous anna mouse said...

Tom - yes he keeps them all in a room full of mirrors, he's that sort of 'anon' - self-tans by bending over

 
At 29/10/06 4:51 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anna mouse,
why do you think they are asking about ethnicity?

Got an opinion on the topic at hand?

 
At 29/10/06 10:58 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked on the original computerisation of the DNA databank project and remember when computerised forms for this data had to be created. It was a while ago (10 years or so) but I believe back then it was to be used in computation of statistics of the likelihood of matches. If you came from a relatively closed ethnic group then it would adjust the statistical chance of a match. Back then I was told that matches were not given in court as being a definite 'their dna samlpe matched', rather they were a statistical value (1 in 10,000,000 chance that this is not the person, etc).

So ideally you'd want to put down an ethnicity that made the match less likely :)

 
At 8/12/08 5:54 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It will be state sociologists who insist on racial details. Not the police.

 

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