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Minister breaks ranks on prison policy

Simon Power MP
National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

26 November 2007

Minister breaks ranks on prison policy

Transport Safety Minister Harry Duynhoven appears to be at odds with his Government's policy of reducing the prison population, says National's Justice & Corrections spokesman, Simon Power.

He is commenting after Mr Duynhoven called on judges to send repeat drink-drivers to prison.

"It seems Harry Duynhoven has gone against his Government's Effective Interventions policy to reduce the prison population.

"Helen Clark said last year that tools such as home detention and new community sentences would 'address the fast growing rate of imprisonment' which has seen the prison population increase 'sharply'.

"So, they push sentences like home detention and electronic bail, and they change the law to make it easier for people to get bail, all so they can reduce the prison population, but then Harry Duynhoven drives into town and wants to lock up even more of them.

"National says people who repeatedly drink and drive must be removed from our roads, and if that means imprisonment, then that's what has to happen.

"But Labour has to get its story straight - lock up fewer prisoners or lock up more.

"Or is this a sign of the deep divisions within Labour's ranks on law and order showing through again?"


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