Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Practical Parole Reforms

Practical Parole Reforms

ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks today summarised what ACT will do with the parole system and said the publicised cases of Douglas Reekie and Michael Carroll are simply two of countless cases of parole failure - public anger should be focussed on practical solutions.

"There are simple changes that a government committed to honesty in the justice system could implement immediately. The simplest start would be to uncover the facts about parole offending. During my first year in Parliament, Labour blocked my Bill to require release of parole offending figures - even though Justice Minister Phil Goff made his false `tough on crime' reputation, by skilful use of bail offending figures.

"ACT's first preference is truth in sentencing. That means abolishing parole, and replacing it with mandatory supervision at the end of every sentence. Commissions of inquiry around the world have found no evidence that parole reduces reoffending rates. Nor is it any better incentive to good behaviour in prison than the prospect of better post-sentence conditions.

"Until parole is abolished, the following reforms should be immediate:

· Parole hearings should be open to the public and victims, as a matter of course, just like the original sentencing.

· Parole should never be granted where there is evidence of the criminal's lack of remorse and acceptance of responsibility.

· Material evidence of community benefit should be required to outweigh the victim's entitlement to see the court-given sentence served.

· Victims, their representatives and police should be allowed to test the experts' reports and recommendations in the same way evidence can be challenged at the trial.

· The Parole Board's decisions should be transparent, with reasoning at least as full as is required of a judge at sentencing.

· Parole conditions should be public.

· Recall to complete the sentence should be automatic for any breach or offence which shows the parolee is not worthy of the trust implicit in parole.

· The Parole Board should be required to gather and publish full evidence of all parole offending.

· The Parole Board should be required to report on the costs of financially compensating all victims of offending committed on parole, to offset against the claimed benefits and savings on prison costs.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Charlotte Graham: Empowering Communities To Act In A Disaster

The year of record-breaking natural disasters means that in the US, as in New Zealand, there’s a conversation happening about how best to run the emergency management sector and what philosophies best engage and protect communities in the event of a crisis.

How much of the responsibility for a community’s safety in a natural disaster is the Government’s, and how much can be left up to the community themselves? And how do we ensure none of our most vulnerable residents are left behind? More>>


CPAG Report: The Further Fraying Of The Welfare Safety Net

New Zealand’s welfare system has undergone a major transformation during the past three decades. This process has seriously thwarted the original intent of the system, which was to provide a decent standard of living for all New Zealanders in times of need... More>>


Signage, Rumble Strips, Barriers: Boost For State Highway Road Safety

Boost for road safety this summer Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter today announced a short term boost in road safety funding this summer and signalled a renewed focus from the Government on introducing safer speed limits. More>>


Risks & Adaptation: Cheaper To Cut Emissions Than Deal With Climate Change

The cost of climate change to New Zealand is still unknown, but a group of experts tasked with plugging the country's information gaps says it will likely be significant and it would be cheaper to cut greenhouse emissions than simply adapting to those changes. More>>


BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>





Featured InfoPages