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

 

Conservative’s Proposal to Abolish Parole Fatally Flawed

Conservative’s Proposal to Abolish Parole Fatally Flawed


Date : 18th September 2014

The Conservative Party’s proposal to abolish parole doesn't stack up, however which way you look at it, concludes Kim Workman in Rethinking Crime and Punishment latest blog, ‘Abolishing Parole and Other Crazy Stuff’ at http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/09/krill-and-womble-independent-policy.html
The most articulate advocate for the abolition of parole is lawyer Stephen Franks, who recommends that New Zealand follow the example of the US Federal Prison system, which ended most parole in 1996. He claims that

• There is no evidence that prison populations would explode, if parole were cut back.

• Ending criminal expectation of parole dramatically increases certainty, which will act as a deterrent to reoffending; – which in turn would result in judges reducing sentence lengths.

• Because much of the serious crime is committed by a relatively small population of career criminals, the change would affect serious offenders being released early from prison and reoffending.

• There is no evidence that parole works any better to reduce reoffending than supervision at the end of the judge-given sentence.

“Rethinking was intrigued by this claim, and decided to check out the Federal system for ourselves” said spokesperson Kim Workman. We found that:

• The federal prison population has escalated from under 25,000 inmates in 1980 to over 219,000 today.

• In 1986, only 50 percent received a prison sentence, over 37 percent received probation, and most of the remainder received a fine. By 2011, more than 90 percent of convicted federal offenders were sentenced to prison, while only 10 percent got probation.

• At the federal level, all offenders must serve at least 87 percent of their sentences, (due to the restrictions on parole) while, at the state level, most serve a lower percentage and nonviolent offenders often serve less than 50 percent of their time.

• The average federal prison sentence in 2011 was 52 months, generally higher than prison sentences at the state level for similar crime types.

• This prison population growth has resulted in Federal prisons are currently operating at between 35 and 40 percent above their rated capacity.

None of Stephen Franks claims stack up. The abolition of parole has been a major driver in driving up the prison population, and creating a totally unsafe and ineffective system.

The question of whether or not parole reduces offending, depends on the quality of supervision provided. There are two key findings. First, prisoners who are released without conditions are more likely to reoffend, to reoffend more quickly, to reoffend more often and to commit more serious offences than offenders released conditionally into the community.

Second, parole supervision that actively meets the prisoner’s rehabilitative or reintegrative needs, is more likely to reduce reoffending than supervision which focuses only on whether the prisoners complies with the conditions of their parole. The trick then, is to make parole a meaningful experience, by providing an equal measure of accountability and support.

The difficulty with the policies of Conservative and ACT, is that their sole aim is to find ways of keeping people in prison for longer, in the mistaken belief that such policies act as a deterrent. They don’t , and there is no evidence to show that they do.

Link: http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/09/krill-and-womble-independent-policy.html

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Alastair Thompson: Are There TPLF Ethiopia Insurgency Training & Support Operations in Uganda?


Mystery Document Alleges:
Covert Operation has US/Egypt Support
Operations Coordinated between South Sudan, TPLF and Uganda
Planning began December 2021...

More>>



Gordon Campbell: On National’s Ongoing Problems With Abortion


Despite Christopher Luxon’s assurances to the contrary, there is no such thing as “settled law” in New Zealand. Apart from the six provisions that are constitutionally entrenched, legislation can always be amended or overturned by a simple majority vote within our single chamber of Parliament. Luxon’s repeated use of the term “settled law” has been particularly tone deaf, given that several of the US Supreme Court justices used that very same term during their confirmation hearings...
More>>



 
 

Government: New Zealand Secures Major Free Trade Deal With European Union
New Zealand and the European Union have concluded negotiations on a major free trade agreement (FTA), which unlocks access to one of the world’s biggest and most lucrative markets... More>>

ALSO:

Government: New Measures To Help Manage COVID-19 As Country Stays At Orange
The Government is taking action to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools and early childhood services, COVID-19 Response Minster Dr Ayesha Verrall and Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti announced today... More>>

Prime Minister: Remarks At NATO Summit
It is a rare thing to have New Zealand represented at a NATO Summit. While we have worked together in theatres such as Afghanistan, and have been partners for just on a decade, today represents an important moment for our Pacific nation... More>>



Government: New Era For Better Health In Aotearoa New Zealand

The Government has today delivered a nationwide health system that will ensure better outcomes for all New Zealanders with the establishment of Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand... More>>



Greens: Alcohol Harm Minimisation Bill Pulled From Biscuit Tin

After years of research and advocacy, Parliament will finally consider legislation to take meaningful action on alcohol harm, says the Greens... More>>


Government: Wellington’s Rapid Transit Option Progresses To Next Stage
The Government is progressing a preferred option for LGWM which will see Wellington’s transport links strengthened with light rail from Wellington Station to Island Bay... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels