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Barker's Comments False

Barker's Comments False

ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks today questioned what faith New Zealanders can have in our justice system, when Associate Justice Minister Rick Barker does not even know the difference between parole and home detention.

"Mr Barker told Radio New Zealand, in the face of repeated precise questioning, that home detention is served as part of parole after release - he was either fudging, to try and negate the logic of complaints that home detention is completely undermining sentences, or he knows so little about his portfolio that he was genuinely ignorant," Mr Franks said.

"Either way, his assurances were inexcusable. Home detention is always served pre-sentence, or as all or part of a sentence before parole. The Minister's ignorance is indicative of the low priority that the Labour Government places on ensuring that our criminal justice system does what the courts decide, and places victims' rights above those of the criminals.

"With such an emphasis on letting offenders out of jail early, it is obvious that Labour keeps the court sentencing system as a mere charade. It is trying to delude New Zealanders into thinking that crime still has a price, and it is the courts which set it.

"An experienced prison manager knew the difference between home detention and parole. She told me that she avoided recommending home detention whenever possible, because she felt that it was a deceit, and prisoners knew it simply wasn't punishment.

"Labour's claims, of cracking down on crime, are simply false. They were today seen for what they really are, when Mr Barker didn't even know the difference between home detention and parole," Mr Franks said.

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