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Home Detention No Solution To Prison Crisis

26 October 2005

Home Detention No Solution To Prison Crisis

New Zealand First corrections spokesperson Ron Mark today issued a strong warning against using home detention as a way out of the ongoing overcrowding crisis in our prisons.

The warning follows comments made by Corrections CEO Barry Matthews implying that the lower numbers of successful home detention applications has been a contributing factor to the continued shortage of beds.

“While home detention may be part of the problem, it must not form any part of the solution and it must not be used as a means to reduce prison populations,” said Mr Mark.

“If the prison service is short of beds, there are other options such as military correctional facilities. Failing that, there is plenty of room at Waiouru.

“We have already seen home detention increasingly abused by granting it to offenders with histories of violence and drug use.

“That was something it was never intended to do, and the list of tragedies that has resulted continues to grow.

“New Zealand First welcomes the opportunity to be part of the planned review of the home detention system which is part of the policy agreement reached during recent discussions with Labour.

“New Zealand First intends to see an end to the use of home detention as an option for any offenders with a past history of violence. That practice has to stop,” concluded Mr Mark.

ENDS

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