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PSA report backs National's concerns

PSA report backs National's concerns

National's Tony Ryall says the PSA's damning report on the Community Probation Service is further proof of the need for an inquiry into the Parole Board and Probation Service.

"For the past year, we have highlighted failure after failure by the Probation Service," says Mr Ryall, National's Corrections spokesman.

"From the non-supervision of RSA multiple killer William Bell, to the penny-pinching parole of serial sex offender Barry Ryder, to the parole of a killer to live next door to the victim's sister, the Probation Service has failed New Zealanders.

"The PSA's report suggests these failures are systemic and embedded. It refers to problems with solo home visits, the integrated offender management system and the general workplace culture. It is clearly much more than a staffing issue.

"National wants a complete review of the Probation Service and the Parole Board. We believe the problem is the culture of the place - the whole of the Corrections Department shies away from demanding personal responsibility and accountability from offenders.

"National wants to see much of the Probation Service contracted out to church and community organisations, who would bring greater scrutiny and accountability.

"We believe that while the Probation Service is staffed by genuine and committed people, the leadership and culture of the organisation is hopeless.

"A line of liberal Corrections Ministers - Matt Robson, Mark Gosche and, now Acting Minister, Margaret Wilson - has only made this situation worse with their 'cuddle the crims' attitude," says Mr Ryall.

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