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


Community safety must be paramount, in and out of prison

Prison officers who are attacked while on the job by inmates are calling for the offenders to serve a longer sentence and this has been applauded by the Sensible Sentencing Trust.

Spokesperson for the trust Jess McVicar said they believe this would be a great move towards long term public safety and the rehabilitation of prisoners “If a prisoner can commit a violent offence while incarcerated, then it is a clear indication they are not ready to be released into the community. Under current legislation if the prisoner commits an offence while behind bars and they are found guilty, the sentence imposed is served concurrently. It is served alongside their original sentence, meaning there is no incentive for the prisoners to behave, and all this teaches them about consequences is who cares, they pretty much got away with it – it’s a freebie!”

This proposed legislation would look to impose a mandatory minimum prison sentence of six months on anyone who deliberately injures a first responder such as a police officer, ambulance staff or a prison officer.

Corrections Association President Alan Whitely is seeking a meeting with Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis to discuss making an amendment to the bill before Parliament but said so far, he has had no response.

Jess says this is not any great surprise “It seems obvious that Kelvin Davis is more in favour of the prisoner’s wellbeing and being released as soon as possible to reduce the prison muster, rather than worrying about the safety of the community and first responders. “This makes good common sense. You commit a violent offence while incarcerated, there will be serious consequences for their actions. This will also mean the offender has a further opportunity to work on their rehabilitation, always remembering not all offenders can be rehabilitated, given the average offender in prison has approximately 46 previous convictions.”

“If prisoners do not have respect for the prison officers who are just doing their job and looking after the offenders, then how can we honestly expect them to have any respect for anyone or anything in the community? The trust would also like to see compulsory rehabilitation programmes introduced into the sentence for the offending prisoner, so when they are released there is a higher chance of the community being safe.”

“Community safety must be paramount both inside and outside of prison, and any prisoner who cannot abide by the law and respect those in the community, or show any interest in being rehabilitated should have to serve their full sentence - not concurrently. If that comment upsets those pushing for more prisoners’ rights, then they should focus on providing improved quality rehabilitation programmes to endeavor to ensure a better opportunity of the prisoners actually turning the corner and seeing there is a better way to live their lives, learning to have respect for both themselves and the community.”


Jess McVicar
Sensible Sentencing Trust

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Compensating Afghan Civilian Casualties

Reportedly, there have been nine incidents resulting in 17 civilian deaths and injuries (seven of the dead were children) caused by ordnance left behind on what used to be the firing range of our Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamiyan province.

Given that the NZ Defence Force has needed to be hauled kicking and screaming into belatedly arranging an adequate clean-up of its old firing range… what would it take before New Zealand offers to pay compensation to the families of those who suffered death and injury from what was left behind on our watch? More>>


Children's Day: Commissioner Calls For Govt Commitment

“Three decades on, we are able to celebrate some significant changes for children like the recent launch of a Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy. But we still have a long way to go to prioritise children’s rights.” More>>


Elections: Proposed Electorate Boundaries Released

The Representation Commission is proposing changes to half of New Zealand’s electorates and establishing a new electorate in south Auckland… More>>


"Effectively A Permanent Amnesty": Final Month For Gun Ban Compensation

The firearms buy-back comes to an end a month from today, but the police say the amnesty for returning banned guns will continue into next year and beyond. More>>




Overseas Investment Rules: New National Interest Test

The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers... More>>


Matter Of Trust: Peters Says NZ First Loans Legal

"Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years." More>>



Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Age Problem, And The Port Hills

Labour has been steadily improving its gender balance to the point where there are now 21 women in its caucus out of 46 MPs in all... Yet Labour has been just as steadily losing the generational battle to the Greens. More>>


Charles & Camilla: Visit Takes Royals From Waitangi To Christchurch

Domestic violence services, conservation and education are all on the list for the royal tour. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will spend a week travelling the country from Waitangi to Christchurch. More>>





InfoPages News Channels