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Alexander: Ministry's Surprise A Joke

Media Statement
For immediate release
Tuesday, 7 September, 2004

Alexander: Ministry's surprise a joke

The Justice Ministry's surprise that a tougher sentencing regime is actually being enacted and putting more people in jail reflects badly on the competence of that ministry and its advice, United Future's Marc Alexander said today.

"And one has to ask if such a lack of official judgment means we can look forward to a further series of lawsuits from the zealous lawyers of double-bunked prisoners," Mr Alexander said after tackling Associate Justice Minister Paul Swain in Parliament today.

"And then there is the issue of the police having to pick up the pieces, locking people up in police cells, because the Justice Ministry boffins didn't actually think the police would do their job and catch the crims," he said.

"It really is a shambles when a perfectly predictable 16 percent increase in the prison population in just over two years causes this level of surprise.

"Given that that was a huge part of the intention of the sentencing legislation, it beggars belief that the Ministry and the Minister are now looking like stunned mullets because we have more people in jail for serious crime," he said.


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