Public Protection Orders

September 18th, 2012 at 3:23 pm by David Farrar

Judith Collins has announced:

Justice Minister Judith Collins introduced legislation to Parliament today that creates special orders to better protect the public from serious sexual or violent offenders. 

The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill will allow the High Court to order offenders who pose a very high risk of imminent and serious sexual or violent offending after they are released from jail, to be detained.

Public Protection Orders (PPOs) would see offenders held in a secure facility until the High Court is convinced they are safe for release.

“This Government is committed to delivering on our election promise to introduce a civil detention regime for the most high-risk offenders,” Ms Collins says.

“The safety of New Zealanders is paramount and it should not be jeopardised by a small number of offenders who continue to be a serious threat after they are released from prison.

“PPOs are a new tool to deal with society’s worst offenders in a way that current sentencing and release provisions, such as extended supervision orders and preventative detention, don’t allow.” …

Offenders subject to a PPO will be able to seek a court review of their detention at any time. If they no longer meet the criteria, they will be released and placed on a protective supervision order.

PPOs are not being designed to target a specific individual and are expected to apply to between five to 12 offenders over the next decade. Many are expected to be child sex offenders. 

A pity we didn’t have this law a few months ago.

It’s one of those laws that we shouldn’t need, but sadly we do.

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44 Responses to “Public Protection Orders”

  1. GPT1 (2,086 comments) says:

    No, it is a pity that Preventative Detention was not available when SMW was convicted. It is not a pity that a post release lock you up just in case law was not available. This actually proposes to lock people up not for criminal acts done but the possibility of criminal activity in the future. What is the next step? Pre-investigation detention just in case someone might be a criminal in the future?

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  2. Alan Johnstone (1,054 comments) says:

    Haven’t read the details, but assuming there is a robust and transparent appeal process against this, then i guess it might be ok.

    In principle, I do have an issue with jailing people for what they may do in the future;

    Where will these people be held ? Preventative detention for public safety is one thing, imposing a mainstream punitive jail environment on these people is something else.

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  3. scrubone (3,044 comments) says:

    Wasn’t preventative detention available when SMW was sentenced? Why wasn’t it used?

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  4. Graeme Edgeler (3,262 comments) says:

    Wasn’t preventative detention available when SMW was sentenced? Why wasn’t it used?

    It was available in some circumstances, but not in the circumstances in which SMW was in.

    At sentencing, the judge said words the effect I’d like to sentence you to preventive detention, but the law doesn’t allow it.

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  5. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Lets save some money and do away with all those Judges, trials, evidence, due process and law. (Well actually, if we do away with laws, then we won’t have any criminals, will we?)

    Clearly Judges are redundant, as any sentence they impose can be ignored at will, dependant on how hysterical and ill-informed the media led public reaction is. This is framed in a manipulative and misleading way that suggests anyone oppossing it is defending the rights of “child sex” offenders.

    This law proposes the system locking up anyone without trial, after serving their sentence. Thats what it is. It has nothing at all to do with the dreaded kiddie fiddlers. That is just a play on the emotions of simple minded, but well intentioned, people.

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  6. Graeme Edgeler (3,262 comments) says:

    A pity we didn’t have this law a few months ago.

    Why? I can’t see that SMW would have qualified.

    The evidence was that there was a 6% chance of SMW offending over a year or more. I don’t see how this fits in with the requirement that offending must be “extremely likely” to occur. The requirement for imminence must also be suspect in the SMW case.

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  7. Graeme Edgeler (3,262 comments) says:

    Kea – the proposal is that High Court judges would make these orders.

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  8. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Kea – the proposal is that High Court judges would make these orders.

    BULLSHIT and a red herring.

    If the offending was that serious the original sentence would have been passed by a High Court Judge in the first place.

    This is about ignoring the properly considered sentence of the High Court, not complying with it.

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  9. scrubone (3,044 comments) says:

    It was available in some circumstances, but not in the circumstances in which SMW was in.

    Do tell.

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  10. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    Crap. The high court sentence is likely to be a pathetic 3 years for killing a 78 year old Indian grandfather.

    AJ: Are we talking about the jail environment where you can run a multi-million dollar drug business, have internet, phone, mobile phone, smuggle drugs, smuggle semen, conjugal vists, relase for xmas, weddings, funerals,…?

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  11. AG (1,759 comments) says:

    “A pity we didn’t have this law a few months ago.”

    Why? How are the current release conditions that SMW is subject to inadequate?

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  12. AG (1,759 comments) says:

    @scrubone,

    The law at the time Wilson committed most of his offences was that you had to already have a conviction for violent/sexual offending before you could be eligible for preventative detention. He didn’t, and so whilst he was convicted of a string of offences over time, he didn’t meet the criteria (as it then was).

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  13. BlairM (2,286 comments) says:

    I am having a bad day already, but this just made it worse. We all wish SMW had been given a longer sentence, but it is TOO FUCKING LATE NOW. A sentence is a sentence is a sentence. When it is over, the person has paid his or her debt to society and they are free to live as they please.

    This legislation would completely remove the rule of law, and expand the police state. Judges are a separate branch of government for a reason. If you want to solve the problem, have elected judges and longer sentences, but holding people at the whim of the government is not acceptable.

    God defend New Zealand, and God help New Zealand, because the knee-jerks are at it again. And Collins has turned into the biggest knee-jerk of them all.

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  14. F E Smith (3,301 comments) says:

     So, a law passed that wouldn’t have applied anyway.  Based upon a psychologists report compiled from the file because the subject refuses to admit guilt.  Yes, a very robust and important law, not at all offensive.

    Are we talking about the jail environment where you can run a multi-million dollar drug business, have internet, phone, mobile phone, smuggle drugs, smuggle semen, conjugal vists, relase for xmas, weddings, funerals,…?

    This appears to be suggesting that the Department of Corrections is either incompetent or corrupt, or, more likely, both.  Just don’t blame the alleged situation on the Courts or the legal profession, please.  

    Well said GPT, by the way.

    Next on the agenda, a District Police Superintendant will be able to apply to have persons believed to be likely to engage in criminal behaviour held in prison until they convince the High Court that they will not offend…

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  15. Alan Johnstone (1,054 comments) says:

    Yes Mr Campbell, that’s what we’re talking about.

    If this is for the public safety and not as punishment for a crime then I’d expect basically hotel standard accommodation, unfettered access to media (tv / Internet etc), unrestricted family visiting, no restrictions on alcohol / tobacco etc. none of these impact on the increased safety that the public get from these people losing their liberty.

    I’d also want 90 day reviews with full disclosure of evidence to the defence and an obligation on the crown to prove why the person should be detained, not on the person to prove why the should be released.

    But otherwise, fine

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  16. GPT1 (2,086 comments) says:

    I am having a bad day already, but this just made it worse. We all wish SMW had been given a longer sentence, but it is TOO FUCKING LATE NOW. A sentence is a sentence is a sentence. When it is over, the person has paid his or her debt to society and they are free to live as they please. ,/i>
    Gold.
    FES – that was one of the SST proposals for bail – effectively police could veto DCJ bail decision.

    In fairness the cellphone blockers that corrections run although a pain in the arse for lawyers seem to be pretty effective at keeping prisoners from running things via cellphone.

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  17. F E Smith (3,301 comments) says:

    GPT,

    Correct. The SST proposal was pure bollocks. Deserved nothing more than contempt, heavily applied and without any veil.

    The cellphone issue has always been a problem, but given the security investigations that lawyers put up with when going into the medium/maximum prisons, you have to wonder just how they are getting in…

    Not that they are needed. I had one client who ran his business from prison very easily without needing a cellphone. Contacted whoever he wanted, whether approved or not, on a regular basis. Just takes a bit of ingenuity, is all

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  18. GPT1 (2,086 comments) says:

    I have a few clients who seem to be able to contact me with far too much regularity. As hard as it is to believe your case has not improved from yesterday.

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  19. F E Smith (3,301 comments) says:

    Have to agree, GPT. I thought that the idea of them being kept in custody was so that we didn’t have to deal with them so much…

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  20. Nigel Kearney (864 comments) says:

    The most important thing the government should be doing is making sure the next time someone like this comes up for sentencing, they are put away for long enough (ideally for life) so that the existence of civil detention will be irrelevant.

    Re what Blair said, when someone commits crime(s) of this magnitude, they can be held at the whim of the government. That’s exactly what a life sentence means.

    Yes, it would be more more honest to just increase his sentence to life without parole retrospectively and send him back to rot in prison. That’s what I would have done – but I’m not trying to get elected to anything. We have the ex post facto rule for good reasons, but those reasons are not applicable here. Is SMW really going to claim he acted in reliance on the previous law and never would have raped and abused all those women if he’d known he might end up in prison until he died?

    Anyway if it is up to judges and Sian Elias et al have the final say, probably nobody will ever actually be successfully held under this.

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  21. F E Smith (3,301 comments) says:

    Except that life imprisonment isn’t an available sentence for rape. So Wilson could not have been given a life sentence. Had PD been available, he could have been kept in prison until he was deemed safe, which is what you are suggesting.

    However, in that case there would have been no need to use the law that has just come into effect.

    In which case, why has this law been passed? To address cases where the offending wasn’t serious enough to warrant Preventative Detention, but where the prisoner is considered so dangerous as to warrant continued detention? Or is the very high bar to be read to a very low threshold?

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  22. nasska (10,606 comments) says:

    F E Smith

    …”In which case, why has this law been passed?”…..

    Partly I guess to cover cases such as Wilson where he would not admit guilt & therefore was ineligible to attend courses & subsequent assessments. It may also cover a few similar cases where PD was not an option at the time of sentencing.

    But mostly the law would have been written to satisfy the typical screams from the electorate urging “the gummint to do something about it”.

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  23. Reid (15,904 comments) says:

    where he would not admit guilt & therefore was ineligible to attend courses & subsequent assessments

    But this is the fallacy isn’t it. That only when a person admits guilt and attends courses can s/he be considered “not dangerous.”

    Which is P.C. psychobabble bullshit, isn’t it.

    Several things occur here:
    (a) is every person who refuses to admit guilt and therefore doesn’t get “rehabilitated” going to be subjected to this? And if not, why not?

    (b) given the Crown now has this mechanism, does it expose the Crown to tortious liability if someone who has been “rehabilitated” commits another crime?

    (c) I wish we still had the Privy Council. They would tear this proposition a new arsehole.

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  24. Griff (6,690 comments) says:

    Reid if they dont admit guilt they are proven to be a waste of effort and are proven to have very high re offending rates
    same as the alcoholic that fails to admit the problem. the law should not allow indefinite incarceration with out due prcess
    ‘I don’t like this law and see it as a attack on freedom and the fine edge of more potential rights abuse

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  25. nasska (10,606 comments) says:

    Reid

    Psychobabble to certain degree for sure……there is however, the point that we can hardly ask mental health assessors to express an opinion we are going to hold them accountable for if they can’t communicate with the prisoner. At least these courses/assessments give them a chance to study the criminal’s mind.

    Whichever way you look at it it would be nearly impossible to devise a regime where punishment, treatment & 100% public safety can be guaranteed without a corresponding risk to human rights. By this I mean governments under pressure using bogus mental health assessments to get rid of or silence awkward people.

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  26. F E Smith (3,301 comments) says:

    Griff,

    Peter Ellis hasn’t admitted guilt. Is he a waste of effort? What happens if a person actually is innocent, notwithstanding the jury verdict?

    nasska,

    I don’t think that Human Rights extend quite so far as you might be postulating with your second paragraph of the 7.43 comment, however. I see no real issue with regards even the current regime and human rights. That said, I do see a human rights problem with this law if it is ever used.

    I also get really concerned about psychologists compiling reports based upon the prison file. Reality and the file aren’t always the same thing. it can be a real frustration when it comes to parole work.

    That said, I generally agree with the points the two of you (yourself and reid) are making.

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  27. Griff (6,690 comments) says:

    I know a forensic psychologist and she is as nuts as penny B. I would not like any ones freedom resting on her judgement.
    I was referring to those that will acknowledge what they did but fail to see it as a crime .

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  28. Reid (15,904 comments) says:

    That said, I generally agree with the points the two of you (yourself and reid) are making.

    Does that include the one about what the Privy Council would do FES or was that why you qualified your agreement?

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  29. F E Smith (3,301 comments) says:

    Yeah, not sure that the PC would do, or could do, much with it, reid. There really wouldn’t be much to work with against it, other than judicially reviewing any order made under the legislation. The PC certainly couldn’t get rid of it, but they might do what the CA did with the retrospective element of the home invasion laws and interpret it so narrowly that it basically doesn’t apply to much at all.

    But I’m with you on wishing that we still had the PC!

    Now, if we had a Constitution, then all bets would be off.

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  30. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    PPOs are not being designed to target a specific individual and are expected to apply to between five to 12 offenders over the next decade. Many are expected to be child sex offenders.

    Only a total moron would even give a moments consideration to allowing this to pass into law. It is just an attempt to win votes while Wilson is fresh in people minds. If they are contemplating five to twelve offenders over a decade, then I see no reason to pass it at all.

    The sort of people who would support this law are a far bigger danger to decent society than Wilson.

    The creeps who would evaluate a prisoners risk will be a bunch of far left, feminist social engineers, unworthy to evaluate shit. Do people really think the opinions of those idiots warrant a life sentence? Many of the posters on KB would never see the light of day based on the opinions of those people. (Hi Redbaiter)

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  31. Griff (6,690 comments) says:

    Griff (2,816) Says:
    September 18th, 2012 at 8:09 pm
    I know a forensic psychologist and she is as nuts as penny B. I would not like any ones freedom resting on her judgement.

    :lol:
    gee you have not even meet the lass and you almost described her to a t
    U just forgot the weirdo Christian part

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  32. nasska (10,606 comments) says:

    Alas Kea, if our mental health experts were not so busy they would find Reddy a small padded bedroom after reading a couple of dozen of his Tourettes inspired comments.

    It seems that it will be up to us to point out to the poor old thing just how far his spaceship is orbiting out of kilter.

    After all we do it for purely altruistic motives. :)

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  33. Griff (6,690 comments) says:

    My mostly tame psychologist gave me a true diagnose of poor Red
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coprolalia
    Coprolalia is involuntary swearing or the involuntary utterance of obscene words or socially inappropriate and derogatory remarks. Coprolalia comes from the Greek κόπρος (kopros) meaning “feces” and λαλιά (lalia) from lalein, “to talk”.[1] The term is often used as a clinomorphism, with ‘compulsive profanity’ inaccurately referred to as being Tourette syndrome.

    Related terms are copropraxia, performing obscene or forbidden gestures,[2] and coprographia, making obscene writings or drawings.[3]

    Latin is such a descriptive language to talk shit doesn’t have the same ring to it

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  34. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    I know a forensic psychologist and she is as nuts as penny B

    Same here. And she is also a nutty self righteous Christian, tortured with huge issues of her own and unable to have normal human relationships.

    I have to laugh at some peoples trust in the “authorities”. If only they knew.

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  35. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    Nigel well said.

    Apologies to courts and legal profession, as FES said I was talking specifically about corrections then.

    Although the whole justice system is badly broke. Eg can anyone justify why Judith potter did only give 3 years each to two,high profile murders?

    And if ELIAS had her way none of these people would have been in prison in the first place.I found her 2008 speech at Cambridge,by accident today and only,got half way through before my stomach turned.

    It certainly is long overdue for political intervention in the judiciary’s antics or for elected judges and prosecutors.

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  36. nasska (10,606 comments) says:

    Griff

    Great diagnosis……confinement would be a mercy when all is said & done. :)

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  37. Inky_the_Red (734 comments) says:

    is the proposed law similar to this http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19630617 ?

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  38. GPT1 (2,086 comments) says:

    FES the CA managed to find that parliament did not intend retrospective penalties (despite clearly intending them) when life imprisonment was brought in for home invasion. I think the case was r v pora or similar. So given the chance I think the point about the PC tearing this law a new arsehole might be right.

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  39. AG (1,759 comments) says:

    @GPT1: “I think the case was r v pora or similar.”

    It was – Parliament passed a law intended to apply an extended non-parole period retrospectively to Pora after an undebated change by an SOP at the third reading stage, out of horror at his “murdering” Susan Burdett.

    Of course, it turns out that Pora almost certainly is innocent of that crime: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/crime/news/article.cfm?c_id=30&objectid=10830957

    Also, given that Sian Elias was on that C of A bench, why do we need the Privy Council to “tear this a new arsehole”?

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  40. AG (1,759 comments) says:

    Actually, Pora is pretty instructive here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10806944

    “Pora has been in jail for 19 years. In 2010, the Parole Board said that his continued denial and “his lack of motivation” meant he could not attend a violence prevention unit which could aid in a possible early release.”

    So the fact he almost certainly is innocent of what he was convicted of and so continues to deny it means that he isn’t allowed to participate in the programmes that would allow him to leave prison (where he shouldn’t be in the first place). Kafka, anyone?

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  41. Keeping Stock (10,085 comments) says:

    The Pora case is a red herring. He is serving a life sentence, so his release is entirely down to the Parole Board.

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  42. AG (1,759 comments) says:

    KS,

    True he’s on a life sentence. But there was an attempt to retrospectively impose a mandatory non-parole period on him back when the “home invasion” sentencing legislation was being pushed through, even though his “offending” pre-dated that law. The Court of Appeal turned itself inside out to avoid reading the legislation as having that retrospective effect in his case – just as some have speculated the Privy Council might do to the current Bill (if it still had jurisdiction in NZ). Which is why his case was raised.

    Further, I’d note that while the Parole Board could release Pora any time, the fact he hasn’t completed rehabilitation programmes because he isn’t allowed to because he won’t admit to a murder he almost certainly didn’t commit means they won’t. Which goes to the point – when is a refusal to acknowledge guilt a pointer to ongoing danger (SM Wilson), and when is it because you actually are innocent (Peter Ellis, probably Pora)?

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  43. MH (624 comments) says:

    So can we at least still crush their cars ?

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  44. frankdb (150 comments) says:

    Keeping Pora in prison is a good thing. while he didn’t commit the murder he would have committed some crime that would have landed him in prison anyway. Preventive sentencing is a good thing.

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