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


Time to get tough on parole, says National

Tony Ryall MP
National Law and Order spokesman 17 May 2004

Time to get tough on parole, says National

Thousands of people are becoming victims of crime because the Government is not taking strong action against parole violators, says National MP Tony Ryall.

Speaking to the National Party's Northern Regional Conference, Mr Ryall said the Corrections Department was "limp and dysfunctional". He called on the Government to change policy and enforce parole breaches quickly and firmly.

"Too often, parolees believe they get two or three chances. Even the Government, in its contract with the Department of Corrections, accepts that only 65% of parolees will honour their parole conditions. Of the 826 parolees who re-offended within 12 months of their release in 2001-02, the department sought to recall only 176 to prison. That's just over 1 in 5.

"There were at least two occasions when William Duane Bell should have been recalled to prison in the weeks before he committed the RSA killings: the day he assaulted a young woman, and the day parole officers discovered he wasn't living where he was told to.

"If we're serious about parole breaches, there has to be an immediate consequence. We must increase the risk for re-offending," Mr Ryall says.

"As a first step, parole violators should be denied bail. And, regular and random drug testing of people on parole should start immediately. Violence is a way of life for those who use and distribute drugs.

"Of total inmates released on parole, 40% will be re-convicted within one year and over 55% will be re-convicted within two years. A whopping 86% will re-offend within 5 years.

"The parole system is in dangerous disrepair. For most offenders, parole is nothing more than sporadic visits to their parole officer. This is hardly crime prevention.

"We have to ask ourselves would this be a safer country if we kept career criminals in jail with no parole at all? If prison is not rehabilitating them, then maybe it is safer to err on the side of caution. We are rewarding our most hardened criminals with a limp and dysfunctional parole system.

"New Zealanders tell me they feel that justice is often impotent to deal with these re-offenders; the violent career criminals who can breach bail, breach parole and get off. This is going to stop," says Mr Ryall.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news