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ACT won't apologise for punishment

ACT won't apologise for punishment

Stephen Franks Tuesday, 30 August 2005

Press Releases - Crime & Justice

ACT will end New Zealand's failed 30-year experiment of being nice to prisoners, ACT Corrections spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

ACT Leader Rodney Hide and Mr Franks today launched ACT's prison and punishment policy outside Rimutaka Prison, Wellington.

"ACT will deliberately make prisons unpleasant. There will be no more resort conditions. If it takes hard labour then so be it.

"The theory that if we are nice to criminals for long enough they might be nice back to us has failed. Prison is to punish - not cure. The sickness theory of crime buries personal responsibility for the choice between good and evil and right and wrong.

"New Zealand has high crime and high prison rates. Criminals can gamble on there not being enough police to catch them and they know they will get feeble sentences.

"Kiwis are sick of this touchy feely attitude to criminals. ACT will ensure prisons are safe but so unpleasant that no one will want to go back," Mr Franks said.

In addition, ACT will:

- Reject the UN rule that prohibits hard labour and says that being imprisoned is enough punishment.

- Remove voting rights from all prisoners.

- Return discretionary authority to staff to allow them to reward and punish prisoners for good or bad behaviour.

- Beef up the Police Complaints Authority to investigate prisoner abuse complaints.

- Abolish financial windfall awards to prisoners for alleged human rights breaches.

- Restore the power to judges to choose punishments to fit the crime, including the type of prison and where, when and how community sentences are served.

- Make home detention become home and work detention, confined to people who are in full time work or training.

- Reinstate private sector prison managers, especially to establish new youth prisons.


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