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Re-offending requires more than one approach

Reducing criminal re-offending requires more than one approach

A range of approaches is needed to address the growing prison population and reduce criminal re-offending, Justice Minister Mark Burton said today.

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A range of approaches is needed to address the growing prison population and reduce criminal re-offending, Justice Minister Mark Burton said today.

"Any new approaches would compliment measures already taken by the Government to ensure that the public is protected from dangerous and violent offenders," Mr Burton said. "This Government has a strong record of action on law and order. The improvements made since 1999 to justice legislation have been unparalleled. The result is the lowest crime rate since 1982."

"Our goal is to address crime with comprehensive government policy that reduces the incidence of crime, but also uses a range of programmes to help the victims of crime, prevent minor offenders from becoming career criminals and target the hardcore criminals that account for the bulk of violent criminal activity.

"This does not mean any lessening of the range of penalties facing serious offenders and hardened criminals. For those serious repeat offenders from whom the public must be protected, there is generally no option other than imprisonment.

"For other offenders, the use of penalties including non-custodial sanctions may be both more productive and a more effective use of resources. The Government is committed to looking at the full range of options and responses to crime, particularly those that will further our goal of reducing crime rates and building safer communities.

"It's important that legitimate public expectations of appropriate penalties for those who commit crime are balanced with the use of effective crime prevention programmes where and when appropriate."

Mark Burton stressed that any alternatives to imprisonment, in its traditional sense, must be properly administered and enforced to ensure they are effective, deliver what they promise and have the confidence of the community.

ENDS

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