This month (August) Justice Minister Andrew Little’s Criminal Justice summit is being held in Porirua. The proposed reforms include releasing more accused on bail, reducing the prison muster by 30% over 15 years, but Minister Little and Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis have been very vague about how they intend to achieve this. They will no doubt also try again to repeal the Three Strikes Law. We believe if his reforms go ahead it is very likely more crimes will be committed, and more victims created.
We do need to address the drivers of crime and look at ways to minimise offending moving forward, and yes, we need to look at rehabilitation. However, all those wanting to lower the prison muster need to remember that the typical offender in prison has 46 previous convictions. Work with at risk families from the moment a baby is born, and not when the ambulance is at the bottom of the cliff. Look to rehabilitating those that can be rehabilitated so there are less victims long term BUT also remember and accept there are many in prison that simply cannot be rehabilitated! They had a choice whether to commit that crime or not! They must be held accountable for their actions and realise there are very real consequences.
Remember, the victims who had their choices taken away from them and the lifelong consequences and pain inflicted by the offender. No more birthdays, no Christmas’s, their hopes and aspirations snuffed out, their future stolen and families torn apart. That is the reality for the victims and their families, living with the consequences of an offenders’ actions!
Please, take the time to read the stories of the victims of some of the most heinous crimes committed and what these people have to live with as a consequence.
We encourage you to have your say about the proposed changes. You can email Justice Minister Andrew Little on email@example.com
Please, help us to help the victims.