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Truth In Sentencing Answer To Parole Lies

Truth In Sentencing Answer To Parole Lies

Monday 28 Jul 2003 Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Crime & Justice -- Zero Tolerance for Crime

ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks today said that abolishing parole, and replacing it with truth in sentencing, was the most honest answer that the Labour Government could give to crime victims demanding justice.

"Labour fended off demands for parole reform throughout its first term of office, with promised new law that took effect the month of the last election. Public outrage, that it opened the prison back door even wider, will not be stilled this time round," Mr Franks said.

"ACT will resubmit its Parole Reform Bill to ensure that sentencing is what the courts do, and no longer a charade to delude punters into thinking that the Government has toughened up.

"Three years ago, Justice Minister Phil Goff blocked my Parole Bill from even getting to Select Committee. He will face protest every time his handpicked Parole Board bleeding hearts carry out his instructions, to slide another vicious criminal into an unsuspecting community.

"There is absolutely no evidence to show that parole serves any of its claimed purposes - it does not require or get good behaviour. It is no more effective in reducing re-offending than a period of supervision after the end of a court-given sentence.

"The only thing that parole achieves is to keep prison musters down.

With parole now being a criminal's right as soon as they no longer pose `an undue risk to the safety of the community', it has no value to prison officers as a reward for good behaviour.

"Parole is a tool for a government that doesn't believe in punishment, but pretends to. Labour thinks the public will be satisfied watching criminals stream through the prison gates. ACT will make sure the public knows they are sliding out the back door just as quickly.

"Parole placates the bleeding hearts who argue that criminals are not responsible for their actions, and that offenders deserve more help than their innocent victims.

"Mr Goff has it in his hands to get criminals off the streets, and keep them off. He can accept our help to close the loopholes in his Sentencing Act, and to amend the Parole Act to allow the Parole Board to take into account the judge's sentencing reasons, and the price that victims can expect to be paid.

"Parole has failed - and has been seen to fail. If the Labour Government does not replace parole with truth in sentencing, Mr Goff will ensure that the parole system is hounded by people demanding that sentences mean what they say," Mr Franks said.


ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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