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Sensible Sentencing‘s Policies Create More Victims

Sensible Sentencing‘s Policies Create More Victims

“If the Sensible Sentencing Trust is genuinely concerned for the victims of crime, it should promote policies that reduce crime. Unfortunately, it’s policies are directed at increasing offending, which produces more victims”, said Kim Workman, spokesperson for Rethinking t Crime and Punishment . He was responding to a Dompost article, “Third World Imprisonment Levels Slammed (16 Dec)” in which Garth McVicar said that the Trust dealt with victims, and that the cost of imprisonment was irrelevant.

“The Trust’s policies don’t make sense. On the one hand they advocate for more severe punishment, and longer term of imprisonment. Those policies increase rather than reduce the number of offenders, and therefore the number of victims. The Trust’s policies are aimed at creating more victims, rather than less.”

“In recent interviews, McVicar has resorted to make a number of false claims. First, that young people are committing serious crime at a younger age. Second, that the crime rate is increasing. Third, that the justice system is massaging the statistics.”

“Garth McVicar believes that the only way to make offenders accountable for their actions is to either shame or punish them. But punishment and accountability are not the same thing; although punishment can be part of an accountability process.”

“One of the characteristics of the Sensible Sentencing Trust’s approach, is that it does not recognise the three elements of accountability; (a) acceptance of moral blame, (b) recognition of the impact of one’s behaviour on others, and (c) acknowledgement that relationships have been damaged and can only be restored by an act of grace on the part of the victim.”

“It is unfortunate that some media outlets are prepared to promote this sort of shoddy thinking, and ignore the evidence. It is an issue which we addressed in a recent newsletter.”

Reference: http://www.rethinking.org.nz/assets/Print_Newsletters/Issue_114.pdf

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