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Dumb and Dumber: Three strikes policy = ignorance

13 November 2008

Dumb, Dumb and Dumber: Three strikes policy = ignorance

Green Party Justice Spokesperson Metiria Turei supports the concerns of the Rethinking Crime and Punishment organisation about the cost of ACT's three strikes imprisonment policy.

Mrs Turei says focusing on revenge and creating moral panic is not an intelligent way to deal with crime and justice issues. She says resources must be used wisely and targeted at initiatives that actually reduce offending, rather than the kneejerk reactions espoused by ACT that would wait until a third serious crime is committed and then spend billions locking the offender away.

"As resources become scarce they must be used wisely - not ideologically. Rehabilitation and victim restoration are the two most important priorities."

"Despite protests from the Sensible Sentencing Trust, the key issue is where to use precious justice funds. Retribution might serve some interests but policies and funding must be directed to stop the escalation of violent crime not just lock people away.

"Building more prisons is a distraction. While the National Party's justice policy does include increased support for rehabilitation programmes, ACT's policy is highly retributive and 19th century. It also wastes considerable resources that could be used to rehabilitate offenders and to restore victims' rights.

"Nowhere in ACT's three strikes policy is there a focus on restoration and compensation for victims, which is absolutely crucial.

Mrs Turei says it's vital to take off the blinkers and to think smarter - rather than dumber - about what's really going to work.


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