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Kurariki Media Exposure Criticised

Kurariki Media Exposure Criticised by Crime and Justice Conference

Participants at the Prison Fellowship 25th Anniversary Conference unanimously expressed their deep concern at 'Herald on Sunday's' decision to publish details about Bailey Kurariki's current situation. A front page article in today's edition detailed the birthday presents he has received, the food he has eaten, and his daily activities. It was accompanied by photographs of Bailey in his backyard.

In a release today, the Conference set out its concerns in the following statement:

"Conference participants are unanimous in condemning the actions of = Herald on Sunday in publishing information about Bailey Kurariki's personal life, including the food he has eaten, the birthday presents he received, and details about how he spends his day. The photos that accompanied the story, make it clear that Bailey's privacy has been seriously infringed. We have been reliably informed that the family have had to unplug their telephone, because of phone calls from the media.

Bailey Kurariki has served his prison sentence, and is on home detention, trying desperately to put his life back together. To have his personal life, eating habits and activity the subject of a leading story, is both an invasion of privacy and an act of victimisation. Media action of this kind lessens the chance of him living a normal life, and if continued has the potential to interfere with his efforts to be a law abiding citizen. Ultimately, the media action could present a risk to public safety.

It is also a cowardly act. Under his parole conditions, Baily is prevented from speaking to the media. He cannot therefore publicly respond to this invasion of privacy. That in our view, constitutes a breach of natural justice.

This action by Herald on Sunday highlights a wider and emerging societal issue. The evidence is clear that if ex-prisoners are stigmatised and labelled e.g. 'baby-face killer' on release it serves as a disincentive to rehabilitation. The public needs to consider whether such action is in the interest of long term public safety, and whether it may in the long term, lead to a innocent and law abiding citizen becoming the victim of a crime. "

ENDS

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