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Paroled Criminals Placed In Backpacker Hostels

Media Statement
For immediate release
Wednesday, 23 June, 2004

Alexander: Paroled Criminals Placed In Backpacker Hostels

Placing paroled criminals in backpacker hostels - "presumably with every chance of turning visitors to our country into their next victims" - is total madness, United Future's Marc Alexander said today.

Speaking after the Corrections Department revelation to the Law and Order Select Committee this morning, Mr Alexander said he was dumb-founded.

"I have long fought against a parole system that inflicts recidivist offenders on the good people of this country, but now we find that that is not enough.

"No, we are going a step further and planting our known criminals, who have no place else to go, right in among young tourists and backpackers visiting this country for a great New Zealand experience.

"I don't imagine Tourism New Zealand will be in a hurry to use this information in its next marketing drive," Mr Alexander said. "And are they burglars, rapists or even killers?"

In many respects those paroled to backpacker hostels would probably be most likely to reoffend, he said.

"After all, they clearly, by lack of alternative family or social options, don't have strong roots in society. And people who are isolated and alone would have the least chance of going straight," he said.

"Is there another country anywhere that places its criminals among its guests?"


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