Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


How much is your freedom worth?

How much is your freedom worth?

“JustSpeak is concerned about calls from some groups that Stuart Murray Wilson should be sent back to prison because of the cost of keeping him under his current release conditions. What price do we as New Zealanders place of a person’s liberty and basic human rights?”

“Figures released by the Department of Corrections show that Mr Wilson’s current arrangements have cost $209,313 since he was released just under three months ago, whereas it costs around $100,000 to keep someone in prison for a year. But it is important to remember the reasons why Mr Wilson was released, in particular that he had served his sentence for the crimes he was convicted of and because we have fundamental human rights which protect individuals’ liberty against the power of the State.”

“We have rules against passing news laws to penalise people in ways that didn’t exist when they committed offences, were convicted, and sentenced. It is one of the fundamental principles of the rule of law, which also protects individuals from the disproportionate power of the State, that our laws should not be retrospective. That means that we should be able to know what the law is that applies to us and it should not be able to be changed on us after the event.”

“JustSpeak is concerned that the reactions to the release of these figures and measures such as the proposed Public Protection Orders suggest a lack of willingess from the public to recognise the basic human rights to which all New Zealanders are entitled. These rights must not be worn away – even in response to extraordinary cases.”
“Protecting the public from violent and sexual offenders is of the utmost importance. But there is no evidence that incarceration actually reduces reoffending. It can only protect the public while offenders are locked up and actually increases the likelihood of reoffending after release. If we want a safer community we need to look at alternatives to incarceration – we cannot keep people locked up forever.”

“When it comes to violent and sexual offenders who have served their sentences but are assessed as posing a high risk of reoffending, we need to look at innovative ways to keep the public safe, while protecting the rights of all New Zealanders, including offenders. This also provides an opportunity to look for more cost-effective ways to dealing with high risk offenders.”

“For example, in the United Kingdom Circles of Support and Accountability have been set up. These involve trained volunteers from the community forming a circle around a person with a history of sexual offencding who has a potentially high risk reoffending, and who is about to live in the community. The circle provides both practical and emotional support to the former inmates. It holds them to account and challenges their attempts to rationalise or minimise their offending.”

“Such programmes have the potential for significant long term cost reductions, but also to successfully rehabilitate and reintegrate offenders, and consequently lead to safer communities.”

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Treasury Has Doubts On Christchurch Rebuild And... Auditor-General Follows Up On EQC

Despite the improvements made, EQC could still learn better from complaints and improve its customer focus and interactions... Although the programme is nearing completion, EQC needs to provide the best service possible for the home owners whose homes are still to be repaired. More>>


Man Who Banned 'Into The River' Out The Door: Appointments To The Film And Literature Board Of Review

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne has announced seven appointments to the Film and Literature Board of Review... “The new members of the Board... will provide a strong mix of skills and experience to help the Board carry out its functions, while representing a cross-section of society.” More>>


Climate Marches: New Zealanders March For Solutions Not Pollution

Ahead of the UN Climate Summit in Paris more than 15,000 New Zealanders have taken part in the Peoples Climate march in Auckland, kicking off the largest climate mobilisation the world has ever seen... More>>


Labour: Little Announces New Shadow Cabinet

“Labour had an impressive intake of fresh faces after last year’s election and newest MPs have now had a year to show what they’re made of. This reshuffle rewards hard work and continues my drive to renew our Caucus line up." More>>


Because Reasons: Someone Reckons David Seymour Is Politician Of The Year

Trans Tasman's 11th annual Roll Call has thrown a curve ball this year, ignoring the likes of John Key, Bill English, and Winston Peters to pick its politician of the year from the ranks of the new generation. More>>


Whaling: NZ Deeply Disappointed By Japan's Decision

“New Zealand is strongly opposed to whaling in the Southern Ocean. We call on Japan to take heed of the 2014 International Court of Justice decision and international scientific advice concerning their whaling activities.” More>>


Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news