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142 murderers considered ‘minimum security’

Simon Power MP
National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

9 November 2007

142 murderers considered ‘minimum security’

National’s Corrections spokesman Simon Power says revelations that 142 convicted murderers are classified as minimum security prisoners demonstrates Labour’s rhetoric on crime is a joke.

“This latest revelation around prisoners on out-of-prison work programmes raises further questions around the decision-making processes in the Department of Corrections. It will undoubtedly send chills down the spines of all New Zealanders.

“Corrections has also hinted that the decisions it makes around the way it deals with convicted murderers who are on community work programmes, are based on cost.

“This issue is even more relevant in light of last week’s escape from a work party by convicted axe murderer John Ericson.

“The police highlighted Corrections’ inadequate response by immediately starting a massive manhunt and declaring that Ericson was a risk.

“Most Kiwis would have thought Corrections would have immediately reviewed its criteria around prisoner work parties but clearly, the department has learnt nothing.

“Corrections Minister Phil Goff needs to urgently instruct his department to amend its criteria for allowing minimum security prisoners, particularly convicted murderers, to join work parties, or suffer the consequences of another escape which could potentially have fatal consequences.”

Ends

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