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Parole Board Release Meant To Scare

Parole Board Release Meant To Scare

ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks described today's Parole Board media release on Michael Carroll as sadly predictable.

"The special conditions of Carroll's parole contain nothing out of the ordinary for such an offender. They depend completely on dedicated and active Probation Service engagement for any reassuring value at all," Mr Franks said.

"The truth is that the service is stressed, and the public is justified in being cynical about its monitoring capacity.

"The Board thinks that punishment is for the offender. The Parole Act tells them it must focus on his reintegrative needs. In fact, the punishment is for the rest of us in deterring and denouncing crime, and protecting us from the criminals. Carroll is owed nothing. He has had three chances.

"The sad part of the release is the intended sting in the tail. It is meant to scare off comment on Board decisions. The Board says that it `could never be in the public interest' for media exposure to negate their rehabilitation efforts. It wants to scare us all away from questioning the authorities' wisdom by `we know best' claims.

"There's no reason why the community should listen to the Parole Board telling it to butt out if there is even the remotest risk that its fond hopes will not work out. Nothing in today's release gives reasons, or goes anywhere near the standard of transparency the sentencing court is obliged to uphold. The Parole Board should back off, not the media," Mr Franks said.

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