National Party Law & Order Spokesman
21 November 2005
Minister should answer tattoo questions
National’s Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power, says the Corrections Minister must decide where scarce resources are better spent –
removing prisoners’ tattoos or providing cells to keep prisoners safely behind bars.
He is commenting on figures that show the Corrections Department spent $307,117 on its tattoo removal programme since it
was introduced in 2000.
“It would be good to hear from the Minister on this,” says Mr Power.
“Is this a good use of funds when prisoners are being kept in police station cells and in vans on public streets, and
showering in rugby clubrooms due to severe shortage of prison cells.
“He should also tell us if there has been a reduction in recidivism among prisoners who have had tattoos removed?
“Has this programme, which is aimed at those with a high risk of re-offending, resulted in more of these people finding
gainful employment upon release?
“There would be a good argument for this expenditure if Damien O’Connor could prove it was having some effect on cutting
re-offending. Otherwise he should direct it to the many other areas in our prisons that need it,” says Mr Power.