Clio Francis at Stuff reports:
For the first time since the Depression, the prison population has shown a sustained drop – and is on track to tumble further.
In the past decade the prison population grew by 45.6 per cent – but the latest annual Justice Sector Forecast predicts that in the next 10 years it will fall by 6.2 per cent.
The decrease is being attributed to a falling crime rate and to new police tactics that have seen fewer people brought before the courts.
Corrections Department spokesman Brendan Anstiss said: “There are ups and down in the forecast each year and each month, but in modern history this is the first sustained drop.
So long as serious and repeat offenders are jailed, to keep the community safe, I’m all for having fewer people in prison.
Corrections Minister Judith Collins said the falling crime and prison population rates were a “dramatic drop”.
“The people who should be in prison are in prison, but we don’t want low-level offenders in prison if there is a better way of dealing with them. It’s a very expensive option and we know that the younger they are when they end up in prison the more likely they are to stay there for a very long time.
It will be great if the three strikes law actually leads to less people in prison, because of a deterrence effect.Tags: law & order