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Alexander: Worst parole fears confirmed

Alexander: Worst parole fears confirmed

Justice Minister Phil Goff should be less concerned by the Parole Board chief's doubts about probation services and hugely more concerned about the expressed "live in hope" sentiment on the release of prisoners, United Future's Marc Alexander said today.

"A defensive Justice Minister and a Parole Board chairman with a gambling streak - just what the country needs," Mr Alexander, United Future's law and order spokesman, said.

"In fact, those two realities tell us a lot about why we are in the position we are today with paroled criminals wreaking havoc in the lives of innocent New Zealanders."

Justice Tony Ellis, chairman of the Parole Board, yesterday described its members as risk-takers who "live in hope" that the probation service will properly monitor inmates when it releases them.

"That is disturbing, but accurate. It is also indefensible that criminals are released under such circumstances," Mr Alexander said.

"And Mr Goff would do well to focus on that reality rather than get uptight about it being revealed and discussed openly.

"Fix the problem, Minister. Don't pretend that it doesn't exist. The safety of New Zealanders is in your hands," he said.

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