LITTLE CRIMINALS: The Story of a New Zealand Boys’ Home

old books

Short book review of LITTLE CRIMINALS: The Story of a New Zealand Boys’ Home, by David Cohen, Random House 2011.

NZ journalist David Cohen was incarcerated at Epuni Boys’ Home, Lower Hutt, the short-term correctional centre for so-called problem children. He was sent there by the Children’s Court in 1975.

Cohen is clever but writes a rambling book glorifying boxing as a means to straighten out kids. Medical authorities around the world have said how utterly stupid and dangerous boxing is. It should be banned.

There is useful history of Epuni Boy’s Home and some good photos. He chronicles the sad and ongoing failure of the NZ justice system.

A better read might be John Pratt’s Contrasts in Punishment: An Explanation of Anglophone Excess and Nordic Exceptionalism (Routledge, ISBN: 9780415524735)

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2 thoughts on “LITTLE CRIMINALS: The Story of a New Zealand Boys’ Home

  1. Epuni Boys Home 441 Riverside Drive, was a Hell Hole in the early 70’s, (probably before and after) beatings, stand-overs by older inmates and sexual abuse by staff and their lackies. I was a witness to Kerry MacDonald having a tattoo scrubbed off his arm with a wire brush by Housemaster Mr Wright. We absconded to avoid being raped, were caught and returned then beaten and abused. My crime… I was a truant, wagged school was termed unmanageable by DSW, made a Ward of the State and sentenced to ‘Hell’

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