Labour's Napier candidate and Minister of Police Stuart Nash says prison numbers have dropped "because there are far too many people in prison that shouldn't be in prison".
In this Local Focus video, Nash is one of five candidates giving a wide range of opinions on New Zealand's prison system - from locking up all inmates to finding better ways to rehabilitate them.
National candidate Katie Nimon says too many offenders are seeking a life in prison, rather than in society. National has "some strong views" that had been given a lot of thought.
"It's a collaborative approach," she said. "We are all New Zealanders and whether we are represented by a National government or not, it takes a lot of smart thinking to come up with some solutions to these things."
Meanwhile, Green Party candidate James Crow said many being held in prison are remand prisoners with a lack of support.
"We have a real issue here with how we bring people back into our communities," he said. "We're leaving them out high and dry for too long."
Act Party candidate Judy Kendall said crime in Napier was "spiralling out of control".
New Conservative candidate Deborah Burnside said her party was about removing the hopelessness of prisoners "and making people part of the community".
• John Smith is also standing in the Napier electorate as an independent