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Celia Lashlie's Journey to Prison was a huge success in 2002. In it, she told the story of the media furore that erupted when she made her now-famous statement: 'there is a blond, angelic-faced five-year-old sitting in a classroom in New Zealand and he is coming to prison . . . On his way, he will probably kill someone.' Not only did this statement bring her to the attenti Celia Lashlie's Journey to Prison was a huge success in 2002. In it, she told the story of the media furore that erupted when she made her now-famous statement: 'there is a blond, angelic-faced five-year-old sitting in a classroom in New Zealand and he is coming to prison . . . On his way, he will probably kill someone.' Not only did this statement bring her to the attention of the public at large, it also lost her her job. In Journey to Prison Celia Lashlie examines the origins issues of crime in New Zealand, the way we punish offenders, the effectiveness of prison (for both men and women), parental responsibility, the role of drugs, where education comes in and the role of state institutions. Underpinning her argument is the need for the community as a whole to take responsibility for the incidence of crime in our society. In this revised edition, Celia adds an extra chapter that examines recent high profile cases such as the Michael Choy murder, developments in the case of the 60-year-old Waitara murder victim, the release of several key female prisoners, and issues surrounding siting of new prisons. A high level of public interest and the topical nature of the work make this a must-read book for 2003.


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Celia Lashlie's Journey to Prison was a huge success in 2002. In it, she told the story of the media furore that erupted when she made her now-famous statement: 'there is a blond, angelic-faced five-year-old sitting in a classroom in New Zealand and he is coming to prison . . . On his way, he will probably kill someone.' Not only did this statement bring her to the attenti Celia Lashlie's Journey to Prison was a huge success in 2002. In it, she told the story of the media furore that erupted when she made her now-famous statement: 'there is a blond, angelic-faced five-year-old sitting in a classroom in New Zealand and he is coming to prison . . . On his way, he will probably kill someone.' Not only did this statement bring her to the attention of the public at large, it also lost her her job. In Journey to Prison Celia Lashlie examines the origins issues of crime in New Zealand, the way we punish offenders, the effectiveness of prison (for both men and women), parental responsibility, the role of drugs, where education comes in and the role of state institutions. Underpinning her argument is the need for the community as a whole to take responsibility for the incidence of crime in our society. In this revised edition, Celia adds an extra chapter that examines recent high profile cases such as the Michael Choy murder, developments in the case of the 60-year-old Waitara murder victim, the release of several key female prisoners, and issues surrounding siting of new prisons. A high level of public interest and the topical nature of the work make this a must-read book for 2003.

30 review for The Journey to Prison: Who Goes and Why

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nic Ayson

    I can't help but come away from this read feeling disappointed. But perhaps, a book that was written 18 years ago is now just dated. Overall, I found Lashlie's ideas of 'who goes to prison and why' to be simplistic and lacking in evidence or depth. -Essentially, it just felt like there was nothing new to see here. She gave no real attempts to provide solutions for how we can do better other than "we all need to own the problem". I also found her writing to be rather sexist and gender-stereotyped I can't help but come away from this read feeling disappointed. But perhaps, a book that was written 18 years ago is now just dated. Overall, I found Lashlie's ideas of 'who goes to prison and why' to be simplistic and lacking in evidence or depth. -Essentially, it just felt like there was nothing new to see here. She gave no real attempts to provide solutions for how we can do better other than "we all need to own the problem". I also found her writing to be rather sexist and gender-stereotyped (which irritated me no end). She gives the impression that men's prisons are filled with men who are "just boys yet to grow up" and its the women, who are the ones who can turn things around, to shift the generational poverty and crime - just as soon as they realise that they want a better life for their children and grandchildren. (And meanwhile, men don't...or can't ??!!)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Davida

    Disappointed in this book as I felt Celia dwelt too much on her career than rather on the topic at hand.

  3. 5 out of 5

    K Ryan

    What Celia Lashlie says seems so stupidly obvious. And yet we're still grappling with these issues and having the same conversations I remember hearing for the first time in the mid 1990s. More people need to be having these conversations, and very loudly, so we actually do something about it. Like Lashlie says, it's bandaid over bandaid over bandaid. What Celia Lashlie says seems so stupidly obvious. And yet we're still grappling with these issues and having the same conversations I remember hearing for the first time in the mid 1990s. More people need to be having these conversations, and very loudly, so we actually do something about it. Like Lashlie says, it's bandaid over bandaid over bandaid.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dana Scully

    If you are into Social Justice. Celia Lashlie is your gal, Her books are an insightful look at our Prison system, and How it is not working as it should.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Regina

    I'll begin with my biggest peeve - as a friend's review said, the biggest problem with this book is that Celia Lashlie says, quite early, 'this is not my biography' but then proceeds to fill most of the book with her experiences in the prisons of New Zealand. That's not great and it not entirely her fault - clearly her editor and publisher didn't pick up on that. Now, having said that, it's actually a fascinating book with a great deal of food for thought. Though Celia's experiences are in New Ze I'll begin with my biggest peeve - as a friend's review said, the biggest problem with this book is that Celia Lashlie says, quite early, 'this is not my biography' but then proceeds to fill most of the book with her experiences in the prisons of New Zealand. That's not great and it not entirely her fault - clearly her editor and publisher didn't pick up on that. Now, having said that, it's actually a fascinating book with a great deal of food for thought. Though Celia's experiences are in New Zealand I believe most of what she says would be equally applicable in any developed nation, including Australia. She provides a frank and, at times, confronting discussion of the journey to prison as just that - a journey - that is not always as black-and-white as we'd all like to think it is. Definitely worth reading. Four-and-a-half stars!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ros

    An extremely powerfully argued book for changes in our prison system by someone who has vast knowledge on why people arrive in prison, what their prospects after leaving prison are and how as a community there can be intervention so that some of the others may be prevented from walking down the same track. The author uses her intelligence, empathy and humour to help us understand this different world.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alison

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gendi Te

  9. 5 out of 5

    Liesl

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ira

  14. 4 out of 5

    Caffeinated Weka

  15. 5 out of 5

    Luke.Boyes

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jane Murfitt

  17. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jade

  19. 4 out of 5

    Purita

  20. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  21. 5 out of 5

    Marta Karlik-Neale

  22. 4 out of 5

    Chantal

  23. 5 out of 5

    Grace Couper

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rosie Carroll

  25. 4 out of 5

    Maree Cleghorn

  26. 5 out of 5

    Claire Norris

  27. 5 out of 5

    Donna

  28. 4 out of 5

    Suzie

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kerrin Proctor

  30. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Beaumont

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