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They must have rocks in their heads, says watchdog

Press Release: 14-8-06

They must have rocks in their heads, says watchdog

"They must have rocks in their heads" was the response from a justice watchdog group to a proposed Government overhaul of the criminal justice system, and the organization slammed the proposals as being cruel and heartless to victims.

The Government is expected to make announcements tomorrow that will see a greater use of home detention and electronic tagging as a means of easing pressure on overstretched prison resources.

But in a scathing attack the Sensible Sentencing Trust has accused the Government as being heartless and cruel to victims. Trust spokesman Garth McVicar said. "This is more of the same old, "love thy criminal and screw the victim", policies we have had for the last thirty years".

"The Government has totally missed the opportunity to restructure the criminal justice system and has instead chosen to continue with the same destructive social vandalism policies that has allowed our crime escalate horrifically".

While the Government is saying crime is at the lowest level for many years McVicar said, "They must have rocks in their heads, what has actually happened is the public have lost confidence in the justice system and are not reporting many crimes anymore, the only thing dropping is the credibility of the Ministers promoting this rubbish".

Mr. McVicar who went on a fact-finding trip with the Minister of Corrections earlier this year said the Trust had recommended a number of forward thinking initiatives which the Government had chosen to ignore.

"We recommended the old criminal centred justice system should have been scrapped and replaced with a victim focused system with reparation being ordered and paid in all cases.

"We also recommended the reintroduction of mental health institutions to allow the removal of mad inmates from our prisons; this would have reduced the prison population by 22%.

Mr. McVicar said the Trust had also recommended that any criminals with previous violent offences should not be eligible for bail or home detention.

"The only sector of the community to benefit out of this "backward thinking" bureaucratic bungling will be the criminals and contractors who build prisons".

ENDS

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