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Underfunded Corrections Cannot Supervise Paedophil

Wednesday, 12 November 2003
MEDIA RELEASE

Underfunded Corrections Cannot Supervise Paedophiles

“The Government likes to talk the talk that it is tough on sentences but unless it properly funds Corrections to do tasks like supervising paedophiles it can never walk the walk,” Janice Gemmell of NUPE said today. The Government announced yesterday that the Department of Corrections will be tasked with tracing the movements of convicted sex offenders for up to a decade under the Parole (Extended Supervision) and Sentencing Amendment Bill.

“NUPE has heard Government ‘spin’ about tougher sentences under the Sentencing Act yet know they have not provided the resources to Corrections to actually carry them out,” said Janice Gemmell. “NUPE wants the Minister of Corrections (Paul Swain) to start ‘talking tough’ to Minister of Finance (Michael Cullen) about extra resources to implement the current Act before adding more functions.”

“Little if any extra resources went into the Sentencing Act,” said Janice Gemmell. “Consequently Corrections is now approaching CYFS proportions in its failures.”

“Work Party Supervisors report to us that compliance for community work (PD) is only around 40% nationally. A Work Party Supervisor is rostered to work 9 hours a day yet the department can send them home and only pay them for three hours when those sentenced do not turn up,” said Janice Gemmell. “NUPE understands that agency placements of detainees are not being supervised properly either, so what confidence can the community have that the new law on paedophiles will be other than tough words.”

“The Government faces real embarrassment over the gap between its words and the truth on tough sentencing unless it urgently addresses the funding issue,” said Janice Gemmell.

ENDS

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