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

 

Bail changes to blame for new billion dollar prison

Bail changes to blame for new billion dollar prison


27 April 2017


In 2013 criminal justice spending was falling and the Government was mulling over what to spend the money on. 3 years later there are 10,000 people in prison and a new billion dollar prison is announced. What happened? A JustSpeak report out today investigates.

"What we found was surprisingly clear" says JustSpeak Director Dr Katie Bruce. "Changes to bail laws, their over-implementation beyond what was intended, and how this has been amplified by the housing crisis mean that the prison net is expanding further and further into our communities." Other factors behind the rising prison population include an increase in people being denied parole.

The Bail Amendment Act 2013 made it harder to get bail. It was designed to keep people charged with very serious and violent crimes from being bailed. But it didn't stop there.

Last year there were 1500 more New Zealanders in prison than projected in 2014. The number of people on remand has doubled. This is an increase of 1500; the same number as the capacity of the planned new prison.

According to the Ministry of Justice, people are being kept on remand for non-violent crimes, such as fraud. The way it's been implemented also means that your housing situation matters just as much as what you are charged with.

"The Bail Amendment Act collided squarely with the housing crisis" says Katie Bruce. "If you are refused bail for living in insecure housing then ironically you are put in our most expensive housing- prison."

Paraphrasing the Ministry of Justice the report says that we can either begin a strategic discussion on bail and sentencing policies and identifying more appropriate responses, or we can bury our heads in the sand and build a new prison every 5-10 years. The choice is ours.

"Highlighting an area ripe for immediate and fairly straightforward change is a start" says Katie Bruce, "but given we have one of the highest imprisonment rates in the world, and rising, what we really need is a cross-party accord to address mass imprisonment and its the fundamental injustices, particularly the mass imprisonment of Māori."

The report can be downloaded at http://www.justspeak.org.nz/bailing_out_the_justice_system

The report will be launched on Friday 28 April at Connolly Hall, Hill Street, Wellington at 5.30pm. All welcome.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Malaysia Exposing Our Dodgy Policies On China

Last week, we all owed a vote of thanks to Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad for breaking with protocol during his bilateral meeting in Singapore with New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern. Reportedly, Mahathir used the photo opportunity phase of the meeting – which usually involves just an exchange of smiles and pleasantries before the media is sent out of the room – to launch into matters of genuine substance.

By doing so, Mahathir usefully exposed how New Zealand is trying to make a virtue out of sitting on the fence over the South China Sea dispute. More>>

 

Health: Changes To Drinking Water Standards

David Clark said many of the changes he is making, which will take effect on 1 March 2019, are clarifications or corrections, “but there are two changes which will significantly improve the ability to test and respond to the presence of harmful bacteria such as E.coli”. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Police Detention "Unlawful But Reasonable"

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that while Police acted unlawfully in October 2017 when they detained a Queenstown man for a mental health assessment, their actions were reasonable in the circumstances. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Chile President's NZ Visit

At the invitation of the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, undertook a State Visit to New Zealand on 19 November 2018... More>>

ALSO:

Climate Change: Top Academics Call On Government To Take Action

One hundred and fifty academics and researchers from around Aotearoa, including Dame Anne Salmond, Emeriti Professors and several Fellows of the Royal Society, have signed a strongly-worded open letter to the Government demanding bold and urgent action to tackle climate change. More>>

ALSO:

Teacher Qualifications, Class Sizes: Ten Year Plan For Early Learning

“Moving towards 100 percent qualified teachers in early childhood education centres and improving adult:child ratios are among some of the key proposals for change put forward by the sector and experts in the new draft ten year strategic plan for early learning,” Chris Hipkins said. More>>

ALSO:

Teacher Strikes: Meeting, March And Rally In Wellington

Throughout the Wellington region the NZEI rolling strikes entered their final day Friday. Thousands of teachers met in Wellington, Kapiti, Porirua and the Wairarapa. More>>

ALSO:

14/11: Two Years’ Progress Since The Kaikoura Earthquake

Mayor John Leggett said it was a day for reflection, but also a time to recognise the work by many people to support progress towards recovery made across Marlborough since November 2016. More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels