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Get Out Of Jail Free Card to reduce prison numbers

Simon Power MP
National Party Law & Order Spokesman

15 August 2006

‘Get Out Of Jail Free Card’ to reduce prison numbers

“Labour's more interested in reducing the number of prison inmates than it is in reducing the level of crime in our communities,” says National Party Law & Order spokesman Simon Power.

“In order to accommodate the u-turn on parole, Labour’s admitted that 'the length of sentence handed down, will need to reduce by around 25 per cent in order to avoid a blow out in prison numbers'.

“But because Labour doesn’t have the guts to change the law, or tell the public this upfront, they are now going to abdicate responsibility to a new Sentencing Council. They hope to dodge the fallout when the public realise they’ve been conned.

"The Prime Minister’s promotion of more community sentences is little more than a 'Get Out Of Jail Free Card', for those who would otherwise be behind bars serving a custodial sentence.

“She is less concerned about public safety and solving violent crime on our streets, than she is about international comparisons on prison numbers.”

Violent crime has risen by 6.9% in the past 12 months, the largest increase since 2000.

“Where in the Labour initiative is the answer to this worrying trend?

“Former Justice Minister Phil Goff put together the previous sentencing and parole regimes. He was their prime promoter and defender. Now he’s been rolled again, as he was from Foreign Affairs, by a Helen Clark-led initiative to back away from Labour’s previous hard line rhetoric,” says Mr Power.

ENDS

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