INDEPENDENT NEWS

New Sentencing Bill Key To About Time Package

Published: Tue 7 Aug 2001 03:50 PM
"This bill will gain the trust of the public. New Zealanders must be confident that new early intervention initiatives with at-risk children and youth will not be at the expense of public safety," says Matt Robson Minister of Corrections.
The Sentencing and Parole bill introduced today will see longer sentences for the most dangerous offenders.
Matt Robson's report, About Time shows that young people who are likely to become adult offenders can now be identified with increasing certainty - as newborns, school entrants, and young offenders.
"We can't do one initiative without the other. About Time and the Sentencing and Parole Bill are a package deal for corrections."
"In the short term we must keep the most dangerous offenders inside for as long as it takes to make them safe. In the long term we need to intervene to stop people becoming offenders in the first place.
"As Minister of Corrections I see it as vital that parole boards have the tools to make public safety their paramount consideration when deciding when an offender can be released. The bill addresses that.
"The dangerous few will remain in prison for longer if and whenever necessary.
"In the long term this bill will be the foundation of a series of initiatives that will see us reduce the numbers in prisons by reducing crime. In the short longer term however, longer sentences for some will mean an increase in the prison muster.
"That is partly why I am building three new regional prisons across New Zealand," says Matt Robson.
Ends

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