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Labour’s policies help prisoners re-offend

26 April 2005

Hon. Tony Ryall MP National Law and Order spokesman

Labour’s policies help prisoners re-offend

National’s Law and Order spokesman, Tony Ryall, says Labour’s policies are contributing to a totally unacceptable rate of prisoner re-offending.

He is commenting on figures supplied to him by the Corrections Department that show the 2050 prisoners in jail for a violent offence as at April 11 had a total of 52,588 previous convictions and 3957 previous ‘stretches’ in jail between them.

“These figures are appalling and an indictment on Labour’s failed policies. Labour promised to ‘get tough on crime and the causes of crime’. This has proven to be a fraudulent, hollow slogan.

“If the cycle of re-offending is to be broken, New Zealand must adopt policies that work.

"Too many inmates are re-offending on parole. National will abolish parole for repeat and violent offenders. This means they will do longer sentences in jail. They will be off the streets unable to commit more crime.

“We will abolish Labour's early release scheme of qualifying for parole at only one third of sentence. Under Labour a rapist sentenced to nine years in jail can be out in three.

“One of the biggest problems is the manner in which we are sending prisoners back into the community once they have finished their sentence. It is clear that the present systems are letting everyone down.

“We will introduce a system that works with inmates for several months before and after their release to sort out future accommodation, find a job, and deal with family issues, so that when they are released they have somewhere to go and something to do " said Mr Ryall.

ENDS

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