Figures show again that parole not working

Published: Mon 23 Jan 2006 12:53 AM
Figures show again that parole not working
National’s Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power, says latest figures show the parole system is seriously flawed and a re-think is needed.
He is commenting on Corrections Department figures that show that in the three years to October last year:
636 parolees were recalled to prison for posing an ‘undue risk to the safety of the community’, for breaching parole conditions, or committing an offence punishable by imprisonment.
4,148 parolees failed to report to the authorities when required.
There were 969 breaches of parole – including failure to attend rehabilitation programmes, failing to follow a direction from a Probation Officer, or changing address without permission.
“These figures show parole is not working,” says Mr Power. “They show that in many hundreds of instances members of the public are put at serious risk by people who are walking the streets when they should not be.
“They also show that too many parolees do not stick to the conditions of their parole, and that too often Corrections do not know where thousands of parolees are.
“What the figures do not show is what type of offences these people committed to land them behind bars in the first place, and what offences they are committing for them to be locked up again.
“We do know that many serious crimes are committed by prisoners on parole and that they could be avoided if the Government was determined to get tough on serious criminals.
“Parole is a failed experiment for serious offenders, but the Clark/Peters Government is not interested in doing anything about it, even when the evidence is staring them in the face,” Mr Power says.

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