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Case Again Highlights Parole Failings

Media Release

5 September 2008

Case Again Highlights Parole Failings

Reports that the man who brutally beat Nan Withers is again behind bars after more serious offending highlights the fact that serious failings remain in the justice system’s approach to vicious and violent offenders, says New Zealand First law and order spokesperson Ron Mark.

“The fact that Harry Houkamau, the man who beat Nan Withers to within an inch of her life and left her for dead while on parole for armed robbery, was again given parole only to reoffend makes a laughing stock out of the justice system,” said Mr Mark.

“It is yet another clear example that the parole board does not know what it is doing, and is further proof that parole is well past its use-by date.

“Houkamau’s case is further evidence that parole it does not rehabilitate offenders nor discourage them from further offending.

“The fact that he has done some of these psychobabble anger management courses that Corrections run, yet has gone on to commit armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent acts, shows what a complete waste of time such courses are.

“Serious questions must now be asked of the idiots who continue to profess that such ‘rehabilitation’ courses work, and could rightly be asked by the victim and his family.

“The Parole Board, the Corrections department and the justice system as a whole must face reality and accept that some people are dangerous and should never be allowed out of prison. End of story,” said Mr Mark.


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