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Prison Population is a ‘P’ Problem

Prison Population is a ‘P’ Problem

18th April 2017

The Police, Judges or Department of Corrections cannot be a ‘One-Stop-Shop for all New Zealand’s social ills. The fact a criminal was on drugs, alcohol or from a violent home cannot be blamed on anyone but the offender or his or her family.”

As the debate rages around the Prison population and Maori overrepresentation, an organisation that represents Victims of crime says it’s a ‘P’ problem.

“Parenting, Public Protection, Prison, Politics sums up the Problem in five words”

The Sensible Sentencing Trust (SST) was founded by Garth and Anne McVicar in 2001 to give the Victims of crime a voice in what they believed was a criminal centred, offender friendly legal process contributing to New Zealand’s horrific crime rates.

“By giving the Victims a voice in the system, it has resulted in some major reforms and also resulted in a dramatic reduction in Homicide (from a peak of an appalling 176) to around 80 per year now.”

“The Government has also pledged to reduce crime by 25% by 2020 and much work is being done to achieve that result.”

“We don’t shy away from the fact that the reforms we have promoted, including 3S, longer sentences for violent crime and Victims Rights, have contributed significantly to the prison population, but New Zealand is a much safer place as a result.”

“All SST has done is encourage a Justice system that holds offenders accountable and responsible for their actions. It is not the Police, Judges or the Department of Corrections fault that a criminal reoffends; the blame belongs solely on the offender.”

McVicar said that an Official Information Request (OIA) shows that the typical offender today has multiple offences before being sent to prison. “Most offenders have between 7 and 17 prior convictions before going to prison.”

“The Police, Judges or Department of Corrections cannot be a ‘One-Stop-Shop for all New Zealand’s social ills. The fact a criminal was on drugs, alcohol or from a violent home cannot be blamed on anyone but the offender or his or her family.”

Parenting – or the lack of – has become a significant problem and is the major driver of crime and prison numbers.”

Public Protection – must be the paramount purpose of all Justice Sector legislation”
Prisons – cannot be the ‘surrogate’ Parent. The emphasis should be on returning the focus to good Mum’s and Dads who love and cherish their children and don’t let them get into a life of crime.”

Politics – have allowed a liberal minority to sow the seeds of destruction – we are now harvesting that crop of wayward youth and reaping the rewards through crime and imprisonment.”
“It’s a ‘P’ problem.” ENDS

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