ACT will:

  • Review the use of electronic monitoring and tighten eligibility
  • Increase prison capacity to put 2094 more people behind bars by 2026/27
  • Ensure tougher sentences for serious crimes, leading to more prison sentences.

“We can’t let tragedies like the New Windsor stabbing keep happening. ACT will make sure there are fewer offenders on home detention where they can slip off their ankle bracelet and create more victims,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“New Zealand has a problem with handing down soft consequences for serious crimes. The man who stabbed a defenceless shopkeeper was on electronic monitoring at the time of his offence, despite Police opposing him being granted electronic bail earlier this year. He slipped his ankle bracelet off before committing yesterday’s crime.

“Earlier this week, a man received ten months home detention for attacking a man with a samurai sword, leaving his victim with lifelong effects and gashes through to the bone. Then there’s the case of Matu Reid, who committed a tragic shooting while on home detention for serious crimes.

“Since Labour set a goal to reduce the prison population by 30 per cent, more of these kinds of criminals have been receiving home detention instead of going to jail.

“Since October 2017, there has been an:

  • 83 per cent increase in sexual offenders on electronic monitoring
  • 133 per cent increase in gang members sentenced for violence offences on electronic monitoring.

“In Napier this week an intellectually disabled man was seriously beaten in an unprovoked attack by a gang member. Residents will feel safer if they could have confidence that the judicial system will ensure a proper prison sentence for such heinous crimes.

“The human cost of being a victim is nothing compared to the cost of imprisoning criminals. Dividing the cost of locking up 10,470 offenders (the prison population before Labour’s 30 per cent reduction experiment) across the population works out at about $1.06 each per day. That’s just a dollar a day to keep creeps off the streets.

“ACT’s Alternative Budget will invest in increasing the capacity of the adult prison system back to its 2017 levels. Each year, the Department of Corrections will be resourced to incarcerate a further 524 prisoners up to a total capacity increase of 2094 by 2026/27. Offsetting the cost of these new prisoners will be a slight reduction in spending on community-based sentences as the relevant offenders will now be in prison.

“ACT’s changes to the Sentencing Act, as well as reinstating Three Strikes, reviewing the use of electronic monitoring and tightening eligibility, and requiring rehabilitation before parole will mean more criminals are serving prison sentences.

“ACT will require individuals to complete skills or rehabilitation programmes prior to being considered for parole. There will be no early release without rehabilitation.

“There are some instances where home detention is appropriate. But there is a legitimate question about why violent and sexual offenders are being allowed to serve their sentence at home. ACT would review the home detention system to ensure public safety and rights of victims are put first.

“The Government’s first job is to keep law-abiding New Zealanders safe from criminals. That means having enough room in prisons to incapacitate dangerous people. If there’s not enough capacity, then the Government needs to invest in prisons and ensure there is room to lock up criminals.”

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