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People re-offend to go back to warm prisons

Simon Power
National Party Law & Order Spokesman

29 June 2006

People re-offend to go back to warm prisons

We know the deterrent value of our prisons is dropping when people are re-offending in the hope that they will be sent back inside, says National’s Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power.

He is commenting on a report by welfare groups in Rotorua that released prisoners are re-offending so they can return to the warmth of their prison cells.

Rotorua prisoner aid officer Te Akau Waaka is reported as saying she sees two or three released prisoners a week struggling to find somewhere to live ‘and some admit re-offending to try and get back into a warm prison cell’.

“This is hardly surprising, given what this Government is allowing to happen inside our prisons,” says Mr Power.

“Prisoners can get trips to the beach, steak and ice-cream for meals for good behaviour, R-rated videos, easy access to cell phones, apparently even prostitutes – and now under-floor heating.

“If this report from Rotorua is typical of what is happening around the country then the unacceptable luxury of prisons with under-floor heating will not be discouraging people from re-offending.

“This is an indictment not only on what Labour is allowing to happen inside prisons, but also on its failure to ensure that outside prison there are adequate programmes to help ease prisoners back into society.”

ENDS

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