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Parole Review Gutless

Parole Review Gutless

Friday 25 Jun 2004

Stephen Franks - Press Releases - Crime & Justice

ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks today described the announcement of a review of parole as "a gutless blame shift by the Labour Government", and said that the Parole Board has been doing exactly what Labour ordered it to do in the Parole Act 2002.

"Justice Minister Phil Goff implies that the Board hasn't been accountable enough, but he was told throughout 2001 that his Bill would force it to cut sentences short without being allowed to even take into account the purposes of sentencing," Mr Franks said.

"All week I've been asking Mr Goff in the House why he prohibited the Board from considering whether justice would be done if it released a prisoner early, when it is forced to let prisoners out as soon as it thinks they will not be an "undue risk".

"Mr Goff ducked every question, and is now trying to shift the blame back to Board members. He can appoint and sack them - but it's not their fault. It's despicable. They've been doing the best they can with bad law. Mr Goff was told exactly what would happen with this law.

"Mr Goff needs no review. He knows exactly why prisoners are out too early.

"I gave him the necessary changes to fix this in 2002. He can save the time and money of his review. ACT and National produced the necessary amendments then, but he blocked them. I've now produced them again in a Supplementary Order Paper. It will beef up his current timid Parole Amendment Bill. He could fix the problem immediately. That Bill could be passed within a month," Mr Franks said.

ENDS


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