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Alexander: Compo law moves weak and half-hearted

Monday, 4 October , 2004

Alexander: Compo law moves weak and half-hearted

Government moves to give judges the discretion to give prisoners' compensation payments to their victims are a weak and half-hearted response to public concerns, United Future law and order spokesman Marc Alexander said today.

"There should be no room for a judge's discretion. Quite simply, prisoners should under no circumstances profit from their time behind bars," Mr Alexander said in response to Justice Minister Phil Goff's announcement.

"And the Government should have also been stronger about making any legislation retrospective. The public is outraged by the very idea of money for prisoners, and rightly so," he said.

"The Government's move reeks of trying to appease public feeling, but with no real commitment to the issue. It is very half-hearted."

"It should be remembered at all times that each and every prisoner chose to be there when they chose to commit a crime, and those that have been further punished in prison with solitary confinement chose that when they decided to buck the system when they were in jail.

"While never condoning abusive treatment in prison or anywhere else, let's not turn them into victims. These people have made sure that society already has more than its share of victims," Mr Alexander said.

ENDS

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