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Ministry of Justice bows to political agenda

19th June 2019

A Research and Evaluation Team from the Ministry of Justice have just issued what they euphemistically call an ‘Evidence Based brief’ on New Zealands’ Three Strikes Law.

In it they admit that the ‘evidence’ is prone to political bias and further, that no statistical analysis has been done to prove conclusively that it works to reduce crime.

Sensible Sentencing Trust Education Spokesperson Jock Jamieson wonders why the Ministry of Justice would issue a brief when they have no facts to base their conclusions on.

Jock says they are not only biased but are clearly misrepresenting the facts for ideological and political gain.

The Report mentions there has so far been no substantial research on whether the New Zealand Three Strikes Law (SPRA) reduces crime, and due to the length of time it takes to obtain a third strike, it is too soon to evaluate the full effects of the law.

Jock says the report has been completely misleading as to what Three Strikes is intended to do “The actual purpose of the Three Strikes Law was never primarily to reduce crime, but to protect the citizens of our country from recidivist violent offenders by handing down sentences in line with their offending for extended periods so that our streets remain safer for longer, and with the possibility of deterring recidivist offenders from committing serious and violent crime.”

“Offenders are given fair warning on their first strike offence to change their ways or face serving a longer sentence next time around. They are treated in a totally Kiwi manner – upfront with no hidden surprises. They can then make a choice.”

The Ministry claims there is no proof that Three Strikes works. Sensible Sentencing Trust, using the Ministry of Justices’ own figures supplied under the official information act, has proved conclusively that it works and works well.

“By comparing the five year period before the introduction of Three Strikes with the five year period after its introduction, analysis showed that in the second five year period there was almost a 5% reduction in first strikes and a massive 34% in 2ndstrikes. So the law is working just as it was intended to and reducing the number of recidivist offenders.” Jock said

Jock asks, what more ‘evidence’ do they need?


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