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Freeze prison payouts and bring in back-dated law

Wednesday, 15 September, 2004

Alexander: Freeze prison payouts and bring in back-dated law

United Future's Marc Alexander today called for an immediate freeze on compensation claims for prisoners to allow an inquiry to be held with a view to retrospective legislation that will make sure that crime never pays.

Speaking after lawyer Tony Ellis filed a further 18 claims on behalf of prison inmates, Mr Alexander said the issue was getting "beyond a joke".

"No one condones brutal or cruel treatment of prisoners, but putting money into criminals' pockets is clearly not the intent of our law. If compensation goes anywhere, it should go to their victims, or the families where the victim has been killed by the criminal," he said.

Mr Alexander said there were strong precedents for freezing any compensation payments until the issue was properly resolved.

"Many a law-abiding Kiwi has had the IRD hold monies until certainty was brought to bear on their situation. There should be no problem applying the same standard to criminals," he said.

"And a huge part of the folly of this whole exercise is that these criminals, who are in jail for breaking the law, have found themselves in the situations that they are now complaining about because they caused further trouble when in prison and required extra disciplinary measures.

"And the answer of the bleeding-hearts is to throw money at them. It is totally nuts," Mr Alexander said.

ENDS

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