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


Bail Laws Not Sustainable

Bail Laws Not Sustainable

The Salvation Army says bail laws are not sustainable and is backing calls to have them reviewed.

The country has reached a tipping point in our criminal justice system with the toughening of bail laws in 2013 leading to a massive rise in our prison population, says Lt Colonel Ian Hutson, Director of the Salvation Army’s Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit.

The Salvation Army is applauding the Justice Minister’s indication that bail laws may be reviewed.

Between September 2013 and September 2017 the remand population increased by nearly 90%. The length of time spent on remand has also increased due to pressures on the court system. This comes despite the number of people being convicted of crimes each year falling by 35 per cent since 2010.

“It is essential that we face up to the causes of our exploding prison population, which we know has largely been driven by legislative reform, not an increase in crime rates. These increases, particularly in the remand population, which are made up of those who have not been found guilty of an offence, are not sustainable. “

The Salvation Army believes that the safety and wellbeing of victims should always be paramount. There will always be serious violent offenders who should not be granted bail. But there are indications that the Bail reforms of 2013 are doing more than just locking up potentially dangerous offenders.

The Ministry of Justice has noted that since the Bail Amendment Act was enacted, the use of prison remand has increased, not just for violent offending specified in the Act, but also for less serious offending such as fraud and offences against justice, which can include breaching a community order.

Being remanded in custody has the potential to ‘criminalise’ a person. It can cut them off from positive influences, including employment and make life harder for them on release. This can impact their likelihood of reoffending and negatively affect wider society, Lt-Col Hutson says.

“This broad brush bail law for those who are not a danger to society and whom have not yet been found guilty of an offence is expensive and makes no sense. Instead of improving public safety we are contributing to the revolving door of the criminal justice system. It’s time we put a foot in that door and review if our laws are fit for purpose.”

Issued on the Authority of Commissioner Andy Westrupp (Territorial Commander)
The Salvation Army, New Zealand Fiji & Tonga Territory


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why France Could Become Our Closest Ally In Europe

As PM Jacinda Ardern returns from a triumphant tour to Britain and the capitals of Europe, her officials have probably begun to assess what the more substantive gains from the trip might have been. Most of the chatter has been about potential trade deals – so lets just assume for the moment that bilateral trade deals between big and small countries are a good thing, despite the perils they pose to the smaller party. Currently, Britain is so involved with its Brexit nightmare that there seems little prospect of any substantive early progress on an FTA with Britain. In any case, New Zealand should be wary of being the first cab off that particular rank. ... More>>


HiveMind: Fair Enough? How Should New Zealanders Be Taxed?

Have Your Say - Scoop and PEP invite you to share your issues, ideas and perspectives on the NZ tax system with other New Zealanders using Scoop’s HiveMind tool. This Tax HiveMind is intended to complement and feed into the review being run by the Government-appointed Tax Working Group (TWG), which is looking at the fairness, balance and structure of the tax system with a 10-year time horizon. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Thompson + Clark & Russia’s World Cup

Daily, the coalition government keeps running into examples of the toxic legacy left behind by National – and just as regularly, even the simple fixes are proving stubbornly difficult to enact. Take the case of the security firm Thompson + Clark ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The GCSB’s Security Hang-Up With Russia

So our GCSB has chimed in, alongside its British, Australian and US allies, with warnings about a “fresh wave” of Russian cyber attacks, although the warning has been curiously framed. More>>


PM's Europe Trip: CHOGM & Bilateral Meetings

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in Europe for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and meetings with counterparts in Paris and Berlin. More>>


Addressing Climate Change: No New Offshore Exploration Permits

The Coalition Government is taking an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. More>>


Road Safety Summit: Actions To Improve Identified

The Local Government Road Safety Summit held last week identified actions that will lead to lasting changes to road safety in New Zealand, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>





Featured InfoPages