National Party Law & Order Spokesman
16 February 2006
Labour’s prisons policy in a huge tangle
Corrections Minister Damien O’Connor has got himself into a huge tangle over his proposal to release 30% of prisoners, says National’s Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power.
“It is becoming clearer by the day that he is way offside with the policies pushed by his Labour colleagues Phil Goff and Paul Swain during the election campaign.
“It is also clear that there is an ever-widening rift between him and his confidence and supply partner over prisons policy.
“How does he reconcile his move to release 30% of the prison population with his admission today in the House that some Corrections rehabilitation programmes are failing badly?
“You can’t go letting one third of prisoners out if your rehabilitation programmes are not working. I can only imagine the disaster that would be.
“Even Labour’s confidence and supply partner NZ First is describing some of the so-called rehabilitation programmes as ‘a crock’, so they obviously have huge reservations.
“Damien O’Connor also has to explain his back-track on Labour’s unsuccessful bid to paint themselves as tough on crime.
“There is a huge difference between his new ‘catch and release’ policy, and the ‘tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime’ line pushed by Phil Goff and Paul Swain,” says Mr Power.
“And I will be very interested to hear him explain to victims of crime why he is going to let out the people who offended against them. What sort of signal is he trying to send to those victims?”