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New Zealand – Jailer To The World

Media Release

16 October 2007

New Zealand – Jailer To The World

A significant number of those currently in jail are immigrants, and the Government must act to reduce the number of non-New Zealand citizens in jail and deter immigrants from serious offending, says New Zealand First law and order spokesman Ron Mark.

“Figures released by the Minister show that as at 17 September 558 sentenced prisoners serving custodial sentences identified their citizenship as non-New Zealand. This is out of a total prison muster of 6,630,” said Mr Mark.

“These figures are shocking. It is astounding that almost ten percent of all those currently in jail are immigrants.

“We now have a very clear picture why our jails are so full. The cost to the taxpayer to imprison all these people is also likely to be massive, and could possibly be as high as $40 million per year.

“To address the issue, the Government should seek repatriation agreements with the main sources of our criminal immigrants where they would be returned home to serve their sentences. Even if we had to accept our own citizens back in return, they are likely to number less than those we send home.

“Such a move would also benefit those sent home. Prisoners would be in an environment that better serves their cultural and spiritual needs, and would be closer to their extended whanaunga.

“These figures also make it apparent that a number of migrants commit serious crimes after their arrival. To provide a deterrent, the Government should also introduce a long probation period for new migrants whereby any serious crime committed before obtaining citizenship would result in automatic deportation.

“The sad fact is that New Zealand has enough of our own criminals without having to look after those from other countries,” concluded Mr Mark.

ENDS


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