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Community work scheme not working

Simon Power
National Party Law & Order Spokesman

20 October 2006

Community work scheme not working

Latest figures show the community work and supervision schemes are failing and the Government needs to re-evaluate them, says National's Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power.

He is releasing figures which show that in the year ended 30 June:

- 13,182 or 28% of offenders breached community work orders, up from 10,558 or 23% in 2004/05.

- 1,402 or 14% of offenders breached supervision, up from 1,125 or 12% in 04/05.

- 1,684 prisoners were sent back to prison for beaching community work, up from 1,579 in 04/05, and 1,345 in 03/04.

- 195 offenders were sent back to prison for breaching supervision, compared with 145 in 04/05, and 114 in ¾.

"These figures show that community work and, to a lesser extent, supervision is not working.

"There is a serious problem with a system that allows more than a quarter of offenders to breach community work.

"And that's putting more pressure on the prison system, with 420 more offenders sent to prison for breaching community work and supervision last year than two years ago."

Last month, Mr Power revealed that the number of people being sent to prison in lieu of outstanding fines had doubled, from 140 in 2002/03 to 293 in 2005/06.

"This Labour-led Government wants to let more people out of prison on community-based sentences, but it's the very failure of these sentences that is clearly helping to push up the prison population."

ENDS

For community work and supervision figures go to:
http://www.national.org.nz/files/power_work.pdf

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