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.”
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Inquiry Into One Case Of Dirty Politics

Suddenly, we’re awash in inquiries and reviews. (It feels almost as if the Greens won the last election.) Caught out by the damning inquiry by SIS Inspector-General Cheryl Gwyn, the government’s response yesterday was utterly in character – it released two other major reports at the same time to try and distract public attention...

Inquiries are supposed to re-assure the public. What these inquiry outcomes share in common is a government culture of zero responsibility. More>>

IGIS ON SIS:

 
 

Parliament Today:

Temporary Release Crackdown Continues: Corrections Review Of Phillip Smith Case

“The review by Corrections’ Chief Custodial Officer reveals that the plan for Smith’s series of temporary releases was overly ambitious and misinformed. He’s a highly manipulative and deceptive person who although technically eligible, should not have been considered for temporary release." More>>

ALSO:

White Ribbon Day: Govt Resumes Sexual Violence Trial Proceedings Work

Justice Minister Amy Adams has asked the Law Commission to resume work on proposals for better supporting victims of sexual violence through the criminal process. The Law Commission will revisit its previous work on alternative pre-trial and trial processes to identify options for improving complainants’ experience in court. More>>

ALSO:

"New Faces, Wise Heads": Andrew Little Announces New Labour Line Up

Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Rick Ellis As Te Papa’s New CEO

The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism. Much of it has been inspired by the suspicion that Ellis has been hired to pursue the same purely commercial goals as he did at TVNZ, while similarly neglecting the serious cultural side of his mandate. More>>

Passport Cancellation, Surveillance: Draft 'Foreign Fighters Legislation' Released

The final draft of the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill contains proposals previously announced by Mr Key in a major national security speech earlier this month. More>>

ALSO:

Related

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014... More>>

ALSO:

Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news