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Govt sends bad message to good kids

Hon Tony Ryall National Party Law and Order Spokesman

5 January 2004

Govt sends bad message to good kids

National's Law and Order spokesman, Tony Ryall, says the prison service is sending the wrong message to young people by providing televisions and stereos to young offenders in Waikeria Prison's Youth Unit.

He is commenting on a report today that says inmates at the prison have been given television sets and stereos.

"This is an outrageous reward for criminal offending. It sends a bad message to New Zealand's young people, most of whom are honest, law-abiding citizens," says Mr Ryall.

"For some kids, being behind bars has become a softer option than being at home. "The Government's liberal youth crime policies undermine punishment and justice. It's time they showed a real commitment to beating our appalling youth crime rate.

"National supports youth justice initiatives that hold people responsible for the crimes they commit and see youth offenders rehabilitated. But watching TV or listening to a ghetto blaster is not rehabilitation by any stretch of the imagination," says Mr Ryall.

ENDS

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