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End No Strings Parole And No Strings Foreign Aid

End No Strings Parole as well as No Strings Foreign Aid

Monday 19 Aug 2002

Phil Goff must promise to reverse former cabinet minister Matt Robson's policies toward criminals as well as for foreign aid, ACT Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"Matt Robson complains that New Zealand's aid once had conditions requiring foreign countries to respect New Zealand interests. Of course it did, and it still should. Recipients of aid should have to be friendly, and should have to show it. If you can't feed or look after yourself it is elementary that you will - at the very least pretend to - respect those charitable enough to do it for you.

"Phil Goff should clear the air now by publicly reasserting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' influence over aid allocation.

"More importantly Mr Goff must amend his nutty new parole law. Cabinet papers show Mr Robson defeated Mr Goff last year to get parole eligibility for nearly all criminals at one-third of their sentence. But worse are the fine print of the new law and the theories of those operating it. Effectively we have no strings parole.

"Ministers Goff and Robson rejected my amendments to require reimprisonment of parolees who commit new crimes during their early release. They breach the trust of parole but figures show that fewer than ten percent of parole re-offenders are recalled to finish their sentences.

"Mr Robson plainly thought about parole the way he thinks about foreign aid - that the law abiding who pay the often high price of these privileges have no right to ask for anything in return.

"He made sure that parole is designed exclusively around the so called `criminogenic needs' of the criminals. Mr Robson and Mr Goff gave criminals a right to early release. Mr Goff should now tell us that he will reverse both the no strings parole policy and the no strings aid policy," Stephen Franks said.


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