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Repeat offenders could get electronic bail

Repeat offenders could get electronic bail

The Government could let repeat offenders and those who have previously breached bail into the community to ensure its new electronic bail scheme delivers, says National’s Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power.

He is commenting on the introduction today of an electronic system for remand prisoners similar to the home detention scheme. The Government has set aside $5 million to set it up and $3.2m a year to run it.

“The Government is using the electronic bail pilot to ease the pressure on prisons and is targeting 100 remandees.

“But a Corrections report on whether there are offenders on less serious charges who could be candidates for ‘management by means alternative to remand in custody’ shows that only 65 ‘appear with no previous convictions and also charged with offences of low seriousness’.

“What that simply means is that to get to the 100 they want to make the scheme worthwhile they are going to have to give bail to offenders who we would expect to be held in custody – identified by the report as those with up to 20 previous convictions, and who could have previously breached bail.

“The public will not be happy to see repeat offenders and those who have breached bail previously allowed to wait in the community in this way.

“The Corrections report, entitled ‘A Profile of Inmates Remanded in Custody’*, obtained under the Official Information Act, was requested by Ministers to identify prisoners who could be eligible for electronic bail, and filters out those remanded for violent, sexual violation or drug importation offences,” says Mr Power.

Ends

Corrections report: http://www.national.org.nz/files/remand_profile.pdf

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