INDEPENDENT NEWS

ACT: A Fairer Justice System

Published: Mon 18 Oct 1999 10:32 AM
Crime, and particularly violent offending, is of great concern to New Zealanders. We no longer feel safe in our homes or on the streets. The balance of the justice system appears to be in favour of criminals; victims are forgotten and taxpayers foot the bill. ACT understands that crime is a complex issue. Over 90% of prison inmates have been on an unemployment benefit, or some other benefit, when they went to prison. We must improve economic opportunities and address incentives within the welfare system if crime is to be reduced.
ACT is prepared to get tough with criminals: We put into law mandatory 13 minimum sentences for home invasion where a murder is committed.
Only ACT proposes to target the causes of criminal behaviour as part of an integrated approach in tackling crime so that it does not pay: work does.
ACT's goals are
To return the justice system to its proper purpose of protecting people and their property.
To reduce crime so everyone can feel much safer on the streets and in their own homes
ACT believes
The government's failure to address the causes of crime has made our streets and homes unsafe for us all
We need an integrated approach to crime. Common sense education, social welfare, and economic policies can improve opportunities for everyone so that crime does not pay, work does
The Crown must appeal when judges pass lenient sentences
ACT will
Ensure prisoners serve at least 80% of their sentences; the Prebble bill is the only legislation to keep criminals in prison
Toughen sentencing, bail and parole conditions
Ensure better compensation and support for victims of crime
Cap the amount spent on legal aid and tighten its administration
Extend prison employment schemes on proper business lines to help rehabilitate inmates
Support an overhaul of the court system to guarantee fairer access to justice for all
ENDS

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