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

 


Community work - more than half fail to show


Community work - more than half fail to show

More than half of offenders ordered by courts to perform community work do not bother turning up, says Tony Ryall, National's Law and Order Spokesman

In many parts of the country - such as Otara, Mangere, Porirua and Christchurch - it is even worse with two out of three failing to report.

"Community work has become a Clayton's sentence. Here are burglars, wife-beaters and shoplifters, sentenced to community work as punishment, all thumbing their noses at the justice system and their victims. It's disgusting," says Mr Ryall

"Why would anyone take this sentence seriously when so few people actually turn up and do their time? It's an easy option and the Government is making it even easier" said Mr Ryall.

"We first suggested ideas to fix this last year and it's time the government took action on them".

On average only 47% of those expected to turn up for community work actually do.

"This is a far cry from the 85% compliance rate that the Government crows about" said Mr Ryall.

The figures are revealed in internal Corrections Department compliance reports released to the National Party under the Official Information Act.

"The staff who supervise the scheme tell me that offenders' excuses would make your hair curl: from 'no transport', to 'it's raining' or 'can't be there I'm drunk'!"

"What makes this worse is that when these offenders are taken to court for breaching their community work sentence, half of them get more community work! They don't show up now so what's the point?

"And a quarter of all offenders who do not turn up for community work get convicted and discharged with no additional penalty. In fact, many get their sentences wiped altogether.

"Last year a 26 year old beneficiary charged with assault, multiple thefts and breach of community work was ordered to pay $57 reparation, $100 costs and as a bonus got her community work wiped!

"The problem is offenders have one or two years to do their community work sentence, but no weekly minimum. This means they keep ignoring their sentence until it's too late.

"Urgent changes are needed to give Corrections staff the power to require a minimum number of community work hours per week be done, and to impose immediate penalties as most community work breaches take months to get to court. We first called for this change late last year and it's time the Government woke up" said Mr Ryall.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news