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Remand Muster Crisis Puts Public At Risk

Hon Tony Ryall
National Law & Order Spokesman

17 August 2004

Remand muster crisis puts public at risk Letting accused criminals roam free when they should be held on remand will put the public at risk, says National MP Tony Ryall.

"It is for the courts to decide which accused are remanded in custody, not the Government."

He is commenting on reports that, according to the Corrections Association, overcrowding in prisons has become so serious the Department of Corrections plans to talk to the police about reducing the number of people held in custody during the court process.

"We know a lot of crime is committed by people out on bail," Mr Ryall says.

"Fewer offenders on remand will mean more offenders on the streets. And that means more crime.

"The Government has known about this prison muster crisis for some time. They should have been planning for it.

"The immediate solution is to have inmates share cells. Around 1,000 inmates currently share cells. This is quite common around the world and should be used more widely here.

"Let me also make this clear to the Government; New Zealanders do not want pressure on the Parole Board to grant even more parole applications in order to free up prison beds. That will most certainly put the public at risk," said Mr Ryall.


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