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New stats prove About Time is about time

15 June 2001
Media Statement

New stats prove About Time is about time


"We're on the right track. We must intervene early and effectively to prevent less serious offenders today, becoming the hard core criminals of tomorrow.

Matt Robson was responding to new statistics released today by the Ministry of Justice.
The statistics are a snap-shot of 1995. They look at who offended (ethnicity/age/gender), who re-offended and how they re-offended.

"There's not much new here. We all knew in 1995 when the National coalition was in government that people released from prison were re-offending at an alarming rate."

The report, Recidivism patterns for people convicted in 1995, shows that 80% of those released from prison in that year were re-convicted within two years of release.

"But there is new information which is very useful. For example the majority (56%) of violent offenders in 1995 had been convicted previously of property and traffic offences."

"That tells me that my About Time report is right on track. I want to target those repeat disqualified drivers in prison now, because they are the ones likely to become violent criminals tomorrow," says Matt Robson.

"We already know that offenders who took part in the new Make Our Drivers Safe programs in prison have 18% fewer convictions than those who didn't take part. I announced an expansion to the MODS program in the recent budget."

The report also confirms that repeat offenders start a life in crime at a young age. 68% of males convicted in 1995 received their first ever conviction under the age of 20.

"That's why the About Time report recommends intensive intervention for non-violent teens in new Day Reporting Centres before they reach prison. These centres focus on job and education skills and addressing the underlying causes of the offending. I hope to bring forward a proposal to set up these centres later this year.

"These interventions are not quick fixes but they are effective. The tragedy is that the former government didn't get started on this work ten years ago. Then we might be reaping the benefits today. It's about time we started. "

ends

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