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Five years and justice system crumbling

21 October 2004

Hon. Tony Ryall MP National Law and Order spokesman

Five years and justice system crumbling

An admission by the Corrections Minister that reoffending rates by former inmates are not good enough after five years of his Government is further evidence of the crumbling justice system, says National's Law and Order spokesman, Tony Ryall.

Corrections Minister Paul Swain admitted in Parliament today that the outcomes of prisoner reintegration and reoffending rates were not good enough.

"This proves what National has been saying - Labour has run out of ideas.

"According to latest Corrections Department figures, nearly 40% of all inmates jailed for violent offences are serving at least their third term of imprisonment.

"And most of them have reoffended while on parole. As I continue to say, rehabilitation doesn't stop them, parole doesn't stop them. The only thing that does is a longer stint in prison.

"Couple this high reoffending with the prison roster crisis - which sees up to 200 prisoners being held in police cells and guarded by civilian jailors - clogged courts, pressures on the Police and 111 system, and it is clear that the justice system is crumbling around this Government.

"National will abolish parole, make prisoners work and study, and properly manage released inmates back into the community," Mr Ryall says.


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