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Take 'career criminals' out of circulation

Tony Ryall MP
National Law & Order spokesman
10 June 2004

Take 'career criminals' out of circulation

Career criminals will be out of circulation and in jail much longer under a National Government, says the party's Law and Order spokesman, Tony Ryall.

He is commenting on figures released by the Corrections Department in answer to parliamentary questions. The data shows that more than 400 inmates have more than 100 criminal convictions.

"One prisoner with 777 convictions is now completing a sentence of less than three years. Another with more than 640 convictions has been sent back to jail after committing more serious offences while on parole.

"These 'career criminals' are mocking the justice system and their victims. Rehabilitation doesn't stop them. Parole doesn't stop them. The only thing that stops them is a long stint in prison.

"National will change the law to take career criminals out of circulation. These people have shown that the only time they stop committing crime is when they are behind bars.

"Under National, career crims will get longer sentences. They won't get bail. And they certainly won't get early parole.

"Why on earth was Brian Alan Bolt released early on parole when he had 635 previous convictions? How could anyone think he wasn't going to re-offend? Was anyone surprised when he was convicted in Christchurch District Court last month for ransacking a family home, including stealing a child's piggy bank?

"These figures show there's a group of long-time hardcore criminals who don't take any notice of the law or common decency. There's no point in recycling them -- that only creates more victims", says Mr Ryall.

The official data reveals that each inmate in New Zealand prisons has an average of 35 convictions, that the worst 1000 average 112 convictions each, and the worst 100 average 266 convictions. "That's a total of 26,600 previous convictions between them."


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