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Meth offences put more women behind bars

Hon Judith Collins
Minister of Corrections

2 December 2009
Media Statement

Meth offences put more women behind bars

Methamphetamine-related offences are driving an increase in the number of women in New Zealand prisons, Corrections Minister Judith Collins said.

Speaking to the 2009 Corrective Services Administrators Council’s Women Offenders Conference in Auckland today, Ms Collins said 11 percent of women imprisoned in New Zealand during the past financial year were convicted of methamphetamine offences.

“The rise of methamphetamine in New Zealand over the last decade is probably the single biggest reason for the increase in female prisoner numbers,” Ms Collins said.

“The number of women serving prison sentences in New Zealand has almost doubled – to 500 – since 2003-04. Methamphetamine offending accounts for a significant part of that increase.

“Along with possession and sale of methamphetamine, we are seeing a number of other crimes, such as theft and violence, that are the result of methamphetamine addiction.

“Too many women who have law-abiding lives, young families and bright futures are being drawn into a life of addiction and crime by methamphetamine. Often these women do not have criminal histories.

“The methamphetamine trade has been allowed to flourish for too long. It’s time we were serious about putting those who make and sell this drug out of business,” Ms Collins said.

New laws will restrict access to the key precursor chemicals from which methamphetamine is made, and give Police new powers to tackle the criminal gangs that manufacture and sell methamphetamine.

The Government will also reduce demand by ensuring more methamphetamine addicts get the treatment they need to quit by providing more treatment capacity and better routes into treatment.

ENDS

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