Reoffending down

March 25th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

announced:

Corrections Minister Anne Tolley says the Government is now over half way to achieving the Better Public Service target of a 25 per cent reduction in reoffending by 2017.

Reoffending has fallen by 12.6 per cent against the June 2011 benchmark, resulting in 2,319 fewer offenders and 9,276 fewer victims of crime each year.

“These figures are extremely encouraging, and combined with a 17.4 per cent drop in recorded crimes over the last three years it shows our communities are safer,” says Mrs Tolley.

The crimes figures are good, but get impacted by many factors. The reoffending rate is in my view more important. That has real flow on long term benefits.

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91 Responses to “Reoffending down”

  1. publicwatchdog (3,148 comments) says:

    Does this apply to ‘white collar’ crime and ‘white collar’ criminals?

    Penny Bright

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  2. peterwn (3,335 comments) says:

    I do not think the VUW criminology department and other crim huggers will want to know. Spoils a good story.

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  3. radvad (736 comments) says:

    Crickets chirp while we wait for the left to congratulate the government for doing their job properly so I will do it for them.
    Congratulations Anne Tolley and National.

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  4. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Yep, just like it is in most western countries world wide – nothing specific to NZ.

    @ Penny Bright

    It refers only to reported crimes – not to those that for various reasons are not deemed to be crimes, swept under the carpet, and so on. And no – in fact I think I read somewhere there has been an increase in white collar crimes, (mostly boosted by technological advances) although there is some dispute on what is defined as ‘white collar crimes’ – I’ll look for some references.

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  5. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ radvad (604 comments) says:
    March 25th, 2014 at 10:12 am

    I hope you are going to congratulate all the other governments that have achieved the same ;-)

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  6. virtualmark (1,306 comments) says:

    So, this was announced last night. Law & order is an issue that ranks very highly with voters – witness the outcome of the CIR on stronger punishments. So where is this story running in the MSM? As far as I can see it’s not on either the Herald or Stuff websites or in today’s papers. Apparently good journalists trained in such things think it’s more important we hear about fantasists alleging they have an AK-47 on a plane.

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  7. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    The other point with ‘reoffending’ is that you actually have to catch offenders who have offended before.

    Unless you can correlate a drop in ‘reoffending’ with a drop in the same type of solved crimes, then you actually don’t have anything. The police could simply be not catching the reoffender because they have got better at what they do and the offence remains ‘unsolved’.

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  8. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    @Penny Bright:

    Does this apply to ‘white collar’ crime and ‘white collar’ criminals?

    Like people who defraud their Council and fellow citizens by deliberately not paying their rates?

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  9. Harriet (5,201 comments) says:

    LOL – Key’s been out endorsing Sinning recently. And almost the entire parliment did so too last year. That’s nothing to be proud of. :cool:

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  10. Rex Widerstrom (5,013 comments) says:

    Yes, National’s doing something right – vastly increasing available places on in-prison treatment programmes. They’re to be congratulated on doing what the evidence shows will help keep the community safer, and not responding to the retributive nutjobs of the Sensible Sentencing Trust et al.

    I was even more pleased to see John Key post on his Facebook page the stats on such programmes and on reoffending, and claim causation.

    It’s no coincidence that this is occurring now that National isn’t shackled to the conservative wing of Act and is thus free to take pragmatic decisions in penal administration rather than indulge in “get tough” posturing that doesn’t work, anywhere.

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  11. publicwatchdog (3,148 comments) says:

    Isn’t it Auckland Council who are ‘defrauding’ citizens and ratepayers by not acting LAWFULLY and explaining exactly where rates monies are being spent, ‘queenstfarmer’?

    Or do YOU support this UNLAWFUL lack of transparency and democratic accountability by Auckland Council?

    Or are YOU just a gormless, gutless, anonymous SHEEP – queenstfarmer?

    (Meant of course in a caring way :)

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright

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  12. Manolo (14,173 comments) says:

    Go away, you corrupt Miss Dim. Pay your rates first!

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  13. alex Masterley (1,535 comments) says:

    Read the financial statements. it’s all in there Penny. It may take a while but that is the price you pay.

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  14. James Stephenson (2,268 comments) says:

    It’s no coincidence that this is occurring now that National isn’t shackled to the conservative wing of Act and is thus free to take pragmatic decisions in penal administration rather than indulge in “get tough” posturing that doesn’t work, anywhere.

    Pragmatic decisions like supporting DG’s 3-strikes legislation? Much as I hate the expression “carrot and stick”* I completely fail to see how the likelyhood of tougher sentences isn’t a motivating factor in people participating in such programs.

    *Because the stick is for hanging the carrot from, not for hitting the donkey.

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  15. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Ah Rex…Where to begin?

    You suggest ACT would not be supportive of initiatives such as more drug treatment places in prison…the reality is at the time my career abruptly ended I was lobbying the Nats to trial drug courts – which as you know have been very successful in many jurisdictions. I was doing that with the full support of our caucus.

    The Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill – which introduced three strikes – was 80% Nat policy, supported by ACT. Although no-one noticed at the time, that Bill introduced LWOP for our worst crimes..joint ACT and Nat policy.

    “get tough measures which dont work anywhere”…Being as you currently are, in some benighted Australian waste land, you may not have seen a recent feature in the ‘Listener” which attributes the fall in crime to removing lead from petrol and paint 20 years ago. Send me your e-mail addy and I will send you my rebuttal to it…the editor didn’t see fit to publishing it.

    I am from the “if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…” school. Fanciful theories about lead paint aside, the facts are these: 1) Violent crime in NZ (measured by the standard of crimes per 100,000 of population) peaked in 2007; 2) In late 2008 a Nat/ACT government was elected on a strong law and order platform; 3) Over the next year that government introduced a number of more punitive measures, culminating in the Sentencing an Parole Reform Act which came into force in June 2010; 4) Since then violent crime as fallen steadily, with the prison population remaining about the same; 5) We now have about 4000 first strikers, and 29 second strikers. About half of the first strikers and 23 of the second strikers are in jail, meaning they cannot bash, rob, or rape any of the public.

    You may subscribe to the “no more lead in petrol” theory, or the “readily available abortions for the underclass” theory – or any of numerous other theories. I prefer the “if you lock up violent bad bastards violent crime in the community will reduce” theory.

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  16. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    I will be unable to join in this discussion, much as I would like to. Believe it or not, I am shortly off to a meeting with Jamie Whyte, inter alia to give him a briefing on how 3S is working almost three years on. I won’t be able to rejoin the debate until later today.

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  17. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    Tell Jamie to stop pandering to conservatives and come out as a fully functioning liberal party.

    The banks saga shows that there is no support for a conservative act party.

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  18. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Griff: You know the old saying about it being better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and prove it? ACT polling and focus groups shows a very strong support for hardline law and order policies, particularly among women.

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  19. James Stephenson (2,268 comments) says:

    @griff – which bit of consequences for actions that harm others, is incompatible with a “fully functioning liberal party”?

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  20. ShawnLH (6,693 comments) says:

    Which version of liberalism is Griff talking about? Many of his own comments seem very illiberal to me.

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  21. Harriet (5,201 comments) says:

    “….Tell Jamie to stop pandering to conservatives and come out as a fully functioning liberal party….”

    LOL…….ACT can’t be both social liberals and fiscal conservatives…………..unless their hyper-sexual voters want to pay for their HUGE healthcare costs!

    Think about it – other than sex related matters – almost all young people don’t need medical treatment at all – then compare that to what is spent on ‘sexual health’ – 10’s MILLIONS. In other words hyper-sexuals are VERY COSTLY and use FAR MORE than their FAIR SHARE!

    Young hyper-sexuals are taking money away from other areas of health – like advanced medicines. ACT CANNOT DENY THAT!

    Drinkers, smokers and drivers pay far more in taxes, and soon suburban mothers will too with ‘fat and sugar tax’. Yet hyper-sexuals pay NOTHING! NOTHING! NOTHING! for their risky ‘lifestyle’.

    Jamie Whyte would be stupid to try to attract the hyper-sexuals such as the gays because the Conservatives will call him out on their healthcare costs. Winston will too. And they CAN’T LOSE that fight! :cool:

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  22. mikenmild (12,402 comments) says:

    Got any actual figures to illustrate the ‘HUGE’ health care costs of whichever groups you are trying to demonise?

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  23. Harriet (5,201 comments) says:

    “……Got any actual figures to illustrate the ‘HUGE’ health care costs of whichever groups you are trying to demonise?…”

    Just the hyper-sexuals.

    Figures are pretty straight forward – the young hyper-sexuals have a HUGE amount of money spent on them COMPARED to any other sizable group in the same age brackets!

    You wanna talk alcohol for example? – well the hyper-sexuals are in that group – and they contract diseases when drunk[also when they are sober] – and they get pregnant, and recieve pre-natal healthcare only to abort at a later date – ALL OF WHICH is THEN billed to the taxpayer.!

    The easy answer to this blantant waste of money is to treat sexual healthcare like dentistry – pay as you go!!!!!!

    Smokers, drinkers and drivers have too!!!!!!

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  24. mikenmild (12,402 comments) says:

    No, I meant do you have any actual quantifiable data? All we have is your hysterical assertions.

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  25. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    I’ve posted this before, but may as well post it again – Crime rates are falling all over the globe – there is NO evidence that suggests what is occurring in New Zealand is due to any one measure – and it is a long time before anyone can measure whether the three strikes and other such legislation has had any real effect on the overall crime rate.

    http://www.rethinking.org.nz/assets/Newsletter_PDF/Issue_101/Reducing_Imprisonment.pdf

    Silly comments about lead in petrol mean diddly squat – whatever is causing the crime rate to drop is also happening in other western countries.

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  26. Harriet (5,201 comments) says:

    “…..No, I meant do you have any actual quantifiable data? All we have is your hysterical assertions….”

    Well I’m not a coroner. Or a hyper-sexual. Or a doctor. Or a health researcher.

    But I’ll bet that they’ll have everything you will ever need to make an expert ‘judgement’ – if you’ll allow yourself that is. Or if you don’t – then you can remain ignorant.

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  27. mikenmild (12,402 comments) says:

    You’re the one trying to make the case that people who, to you, lead objectionable lives are imposing ‘HUGE’ costs on their fellow taxpayers. I think it should be over to you to back up your claims.

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  28. Rex Widerstrom (5,013 comments) says:

    @David Garrett

    As it happens, I’m in Wellington for the next month :-)

    I have to say your picture of National’s wholehearted embrace of 3S and similar punitive measures isn’t exactly resonating through their statements on the topic. Instead Tolley says:

    There have been unprecedented increases in prisoner and community offender rehabilitation under this Government, which are already paying dividends.

    “Our focus on education, skills training, addiction treatment, working prisons and reintegration is giving offenders the opportunity to turn their lives around and stay away from crime.

    “Addressing the drivers of crime is vital, and there has been a 1500 per cent increase in places on drug and alcohol treatment programmes for prisoners since 2008.

    “At the same time, there has been a 155 per cent increase in the number of prisoners starting literacy and numeracy programmes, and an 830 per cent jump in the number of prisoners gaining qualifications.

    No mention of the deterrent effect of longer sentences. Incidentally, if you claim harshness correlates to deterrence, how do you explain that in the US, states with higher rates of executions also have higher rates of capital crime? If death is an inadequate deterrent, then how can life in a NZ prison – allegedly a “hotel” if you listen to some commenters – be?

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  29. Nostalgia-NZ (5,322 comments) says:

    Hat’s off to the Nats on this. As Rex points out there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes for which credit must be given. Regardless of debate about the reasons it’s the result which matters and these are fairly startling figures and substantial costs saving. The late Harry Cohen, who I sometimes quote, pointed out that in his experience it’s National Governments that are more progressive than Labour with this type of reforms and progress – something else he was obviously right about.

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  30. peterwn (3,335 comments) says:

    Penny – last week, I outlined the gruesome consequences of a rating sale of your house (or a house the trustees let you live in provided you pay the rates). I am pretty sure you read it and I waited with bated breath but in vain for a response.

    Now if the Council does hand the house to the court for sale and it sells for a knock-down price to the detriment of any other beneficiaries – you have effectively defrauded them – talk about white collar crime!

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  31. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    DG
    I don’t find your and by extension the act party policy on law and order as being conservative /liberal

    Two defining questions are

    drug policy

    sexuality

    It is none of the government’s business what any one does providing no harm to others

    Jamie backed down on sex

    He also will not push the drug reform issue

    The conservative faction

    colin griag is conservative

    Act should be pushing liberal and rational examining of problems. Not Conservatives this is how we have always done so its right, Focus groups = :lol: sell your principles for the baubles of office.

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  32. publicwatchdog (3,148 comments) says:

    HANDY HINT 101 peterwn – try seeking truth from FACTS?

    I am NOT a ‘beneficiary’ and receive no income from the State.

    (Not quite sure how many times I have told folks this – but NONE SO BLIND AS THOSE WHO WILL NOT SEE?

    yawn ………………

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  33. mikenmild (12,402 comments) says:

    griffith
    ‘Act should be pushing liberal and rational examining of problems’
    Not exactly their track record though, is it?

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  34. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    Mike

    Hide & Gibbs =Wingnut anti science views.

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  35. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Rex: I think you know my views on capital punishment have changed since I wrote my book in 1999…You make a good point, and I think the answer lies, at least in part, in the nature of the crime. The majority of murders – as you know – are “rage gone out of control” crimes – very few are coldly premeditated. I still believe those kinds of crimes can be deterred by death or even LWOP. There will always be some murders – crimes of passion, and those on the boundary with manslaughter that cannot be deterred, even if we returned to drawing and quartering, or boiling in oil in public.

    The other point re the US and deterrence is TIMING – to be effective, any kind of punishment needs to be proportional, certain, and immediate. As I’m sure you know, actual execution for killers in the US is far from certain, and certainly not immediate: offenders can grow old on death row waiting for an execution that never happens.

    Contrast that with the British system, which was largely adopted here: conviction followed by an appeal which once decided, led to an execution not less that three weeks later. (Unless the Home Secretary/Minister of Justice granted clemency) I still believe that other than crimes of passion and rage gone too far, CP could well deter murder – so long as we DIDN’T follow the American model, which is almost an object lesson in how not to do it.

    But the death penalty is no longer the punishment for any offence in NZ so discussion of it is academic, and completely irrelevant to this present discussion.

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  36. Bob R (1,421 comments) says:

    ***No mention of the deterrent effect of longer sentences. ***

    @ Rex,

    I wouldn’t take a press statement from Tolley as an exhaustive analysis :) See some of Steven Levitt’s research for overseas evidence on deterrent effects from incarceration and increased sentences. Also, this Italian “natural experiment” suggests the prospect of an increased sentence has a deterrent effect on all but the most dangerous.

    “Passed in 2006, Italy’s Collective Clemency Bill presents a unique opportunity to study the deterrent effect of prison sentences, the authors say. Crime rates often drop when criminal penalties are increased. But it’s often hard to tell if the rates go down because the threat of longer sentences deters potential criminals, or if the drop happens because actual criminals are physically removed from the street for longer periods. This study of the clemency law’s effects eliminates the latter scenario, measuring only deterrent effect.

    When the clemency bill was passed, it immediately released thousands of prisoners who had three years or less left on their sentences. The remainder of each prisoner’s sentence was suspended, but not forgiven. The law stipulated that a former inmate who commits a new crime within five years will have the suspended portion of his sentence reinstated and added to the sentence for the new crime. As a result, a repeat offender can expect extra jail time equal to the suspended portion of his sentence—anywhere from one month to three years.

    Using government data, the researchers looked at the recidivism rates of these former inmates for the first seven months after their release. They found that those with longer suspended sentences—and therefore longer expected sentences for new crimes—were less likely to be re-arrested than those with shorter suspended sentences.

    “These results corroborate the general theory of deterrence,” the authors write. According to their calculations, “increasing the expected sentence by 50 percent should reduce recidivism rates by about 35 percent in seven months.”

    But even a small increase in the expected sentence was enough to deter recidivism at least a little, the team found. The data suggest that a one month increase in expected sentence resulted in a 1.3 percent lower probability of returning to prison.

    The deterrent effect was consistent across age groups, and among men and women, though 95 percent of the sample was male.

    “This means that a policy a commuting actual sentences in expected sentences significantly reduces recidivism,” Dr. Vertova says. “A mass release of prisoners can be effective in reducing their propensity of re-committing crimes if, when a released individual gets convicted of a new crime, his normal sentence is increased by the time that was pardoned because of the early release.”

    There was one important exception to the deterrent effect, however. Recidivism rates among those whose original crime was more serious were essentially unaffected by the length of their suspended sentence. That finding suggests that “more dangerous inmates are not deterred,” the authors write.”

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090518111726.htm

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  37. Rex Widerstrom (5,013 comments) says:

    @David Garrett

    Always a pleasure debating these things with you David. I wasn’t trying to introduce a red herring with mention of the death penalty, just raising the issue of the effect of expectation of punishment on offending behaviour. However we approach things from radically different starting points, as illustrated by your conclusion that the fact offenders can “grow old on death row” is less of a deterrent. I’d imagine that spending year upon year in horrible conditions waiting to die would be “cruel and inhuman” punishment of a level greater than execution for many. Were I to find myself in that situation I believe I’d take the same attitude as Gary Gilmore: “Let’s just get this over with”.

    But back to the primary point. I don’t believe longer sentences act as much of a deterrent because many criminals are, in the main, too stupid to equate actions with consequences. And because a great deal of offending occurs under the influence of pernicious drugs, any ability they may intrinsically have is erased anyway.

    I’m not sure how many criminals you’ve spoken to, but I’ve talked to hundreds. And almost always I find myself thinking “How the hell did you ever imagine you’d get away with that?!” Yet there they sit, in the visiting area clad in their prison greens, enthusiastically telling me how they almost got away with it, when in fact their capture was virtually inevitable to anyone with a modicum of common sense.

    The classic was a fellow who stole mobile phones. When I asked him why he bothered stealing phones when IMEI numbers could be blocked and render them useless, he told me he had a plan to sell them “overseas”.

    At first I thought he might be on to something, as some countries – and some carriers in some countries – don’t subscribe to the IMEI blacklist. So I asked where he had gone to sell them.

    He’s taken them to Rottnest Island – about a 45 minute ferry ride from Perth, and a popular day trip and holiday destination (imagine Waiheke, but with sunshine).

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  38. Rex Widerstrom (5,013 comments) says:

    @Bob R

    Thanks for that, I’d somehow missed the Italian study.

    I’m not sure that the Clemency Bill equates directly to longer sentences. Criminals are released on parole all the time, and manage to avoid a conviction during that period because they don’t want to have the rest of their original sentence added to whatever they get for their offence while paroled.

    However they then go on to reoffend, without seemingly having regard to the fact that a judge will look at their prior offending and impose a longer sentence for their subsequent offending! So in other words the effect of offending on parole and offending after parole often isn’t that different.

    It all comes back, as I’ve said in my response to DG above, to an inability to link cause and effect.

    What needs to be done is to interview reoffenders and those who have avoided reoffending and ask “why”? But when anyone bothers asking criminals why they do, or do not, prey on the rest of society they’re branded “crim cuddlers”, as was Labour when they went into prisons to ask that very question*.

    * Which may not have been necessary if they’d set policy based on evidence as Tolley has done (and committed to funding others to do their research for them), but I give them points for trying rather than castigate them for it.

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  39. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Bob R: Many thanks for that post. As the authors of the study note, measuring deterrence is extremely difficult.

    Rex: With respect, I think you underrate the intelligence of offenders. I readily concede that you have had more to do with criminals than I, but I have met some very smart crims who nevertheless had no scholastic qualifications, and may have been functionally illiterate. Such people can still be very “street smart”. The central point is that until 3S was passed it is not that surprising if villains gave little attention to the consequences – because those consequences weren’t so bad.

    As Theodore Dalrymple has written, If your existence outside prison is pretty much hand to mouth, or you are faced with constant bills and by demands from a partner and/or children that you really wish you didnt have, a year or three in prison with three squares a day, cooked by someone else, and at no cost to you, with no obligation to do any work, is not such a horrid thing. As you well know, while NZ prisons are not the “holiday camps” some claim, they are certainly not hell holes either.

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  40. mikenmild (12,402 comments) says:

    Hang on, on the one hand you assert that harsher sentences have a deterrent effect, but on the other hand you say prison is ‘not such a horrid thing’.

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  41. nasska (12,107 comments) says:

    Harsher sentences may or may not be a deterrent but we can guarantee that they prevent offending while the offender is incarcerated.

    For some if not most that is about the only time they’re not damaging other people or their property.

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  42. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Mikey: What I am saying is deterrence is very hard to measure. You could ask 100 offenders who had gone 1 or 2 years without reoffending – or at least not being caught – why they didnt reoffend, and you would get a range of answers, some of which may even be true. SOME will be deterred by another prison sentence – I know I certainly would acutely feel the curtailing of my freedom to go down to the pub for a beer or watch my childrens’ sport – some won’t.

    As Nasska has noted, the only sure thing is when villains are locked up they are prevented from harming anyone other than prison officers and their fellow crims – and the prison officers sign up to take that risk.

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  43. mikenmild (12,402 comments) says:

    Oh yes, imprisoning people is certainly effective in reducing some crimes.

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  44. Johnboy (17,051 comments) says:

    I see Egypt is planning on executing 529 offenders for various crimes including being in the near vicinity of a possible crime! :)

    Lot to be said for that sort of justice really! ……..Mainly that it’s very cheap. :)

    Perhaps we could import some aspects of it into our legal system to cut the ever burgeoning cost of keeping shit and their advocates in the style they seem to have become accustomed to? :)

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  45. nasska (12,107 comments) says:

    Our local cop used to reckon that the age of 27 was about the cut off point. If a crim hadn’t got his shit in one sock by then he’d be in & out of prison until he got too old to do the time.

    It’s unlikely that group is worth taking much more than the lock them up for as long as possible approach.

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  46. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    According to the most recent information I have been able to “access” there are 29 second strikers; 23 of those are in prison, as you would expect, given the nature of “strike” offences, and the fact that by definition, they have committed such an offence at least twice.

    Because of judicial leniency – either no prison sentence or very short ones at either or both stages 1 and 2 – 6 second strike offenders are currently on the street, facing a lengthy mandatory term of imprisonment for a third strike offence. No-one would be happier than me if there never was a third strike offender – the reality of course is that it is only a matter of time before we have one. I just hope he (it will almost certainly be a “he”) is white, and comes from an unremarkable background.

    Nasska: That sounds pretty well right…as others have said, most offenders get the message by age 30…if they are still offending at that age we can expect they will keep offending until they are incapable of doing so…unless of course we lock them up, which is half the point of 3S…

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  47. Johnboy (17,051 comments) says:

    What’s happened to my old mate Lord Birkenhead by the way?

    Surely he hasn’t been banned like Kea? :)

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  48. Johnboy (17,051 comments) says:

    Surely Murri are more disadvantaged by the legal system DG?

    How do you base “is white” with this?

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  49. Johnboy (17,051 comments) says:

    Hello Minus! :)

    Still no life I see! :)

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  50. nasska (12,107 comments) says:

    Kea’s on parole from about the 10th of next month JB.

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  51. Johnboy (17,051 comments) says:

    I spotted a couple of his kid’s in the Tui tree yesterday nasska. Two lovely little Rosella’s :)

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  52. Johnboy (17,051 comments) says:

    Where is old FES? I miss him! :)

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  53. nasska (12,107 comments) says:

    FES was here one afternoon about two weeks ago JB. He’s probably on his yacht somewhere. :)

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  54. Johnboy (17,051 comments) says:

    I think it’s parked in Wellington Harbour nasska. :)

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  55. mikenmild (12,402 comments) says:

    I was wondering that too Johnboy – why would DG prefer a second strike offender to be white and from an ‘unremarkable’ background? Surely he must know that 3rd strike offenders are likely to be predominantly Maori and from relatively less advantaged circumstances.

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  56. SPC (5,669 comments) says:

    Given the decline in migration to Oz, maybe the trend of reduction in offending will not continue.

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  57. Johnboy (17,051 comments) says:

    I’ve read it again Milkey since posting my comment. It is subtle and being a tad sarky. But as usual classic DG! :)

    Read it again carefully yourself! :)

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  58. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    The reason I would prefer the first third striker to be white, and from an unremarkable background is that such a person will make a much less “sympathetic” figure for the media: I am sure they would much rather the first such offender be Maori, and from a “deprived” background, since their meme (is that correct usage of that new word??) is that 3S disproportionately and unfairly targets brown offenders from shit backgrounds…such as Elijah Whaanga who is one of the candidates for first third striker…The NatRad programme about which my complaint was upheld referred to him repeatedly as “Elijah” and ” a playground bully”, despite the fact that neither of his two agg robb strike offences were committed anywhere near a school…and he “only” stole a skateboard and a hat in the second of his two “strike” crimes because the victim had no money on him…They also failed to mention that “Elijah” has about 70 previous convictions, 20 of them as an adult…

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  59. Johnboy (17,051 comments) says:

    Took me a while to click DG!

    Milkey will get it eventually. :)

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  60. mikenmild (12,402 comments) says:

    But you must be pretty sure that your first third striker will be a Maori from a shit background. If you wanted to target someone less ‘sympathetic’ you might have advocated for more judicial discretion, not less.

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  61. nasska (12,107 comments) says:

    Look where judicial discretion got us Mike….the PD & fine approach to offenders half way through a life of habitual crime wasn’t working.

    I’m not suggesting that the current system is perfect but it better protects society.

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  62. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    There is plenty of judicial discretion in the 3S law as passed…a Judge at stage two can be as lenient as he likes – which is why we have 7 second strike offenders “on the street” rather than in jail, as their offences and criminal history suggest they should be…Even at stage 3 the Judge still has discretion not to impose the maximum penalty if it would be “manifestly unjust in all the circumstances”…

    3S inhibits judicial discretion to some degree…and as Nasska has noted, that was because under the former regime POS like William Bell could amass 102 convictions before they finally graduated to murder..

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  63. mikenmild (12,402 comments) says:

    You’d be better off with an approach that targets the worst offenders than the blunt instrument that is three strikes.

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  64. Johnboy (17,051 comments) says:

    I still have trouble getting my head round the fact that we spend say $100,000 a year keeping a piece of shit alive in a prison and struggle to find money to cure sick little kids with cancer.

    A lead bullet for the first could free up a swag of cash for a golden bullet for the second. :)

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  65. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Mikey: I am very comfortable 3S targets exactly the sort of people it should be targeting…I can guarantee that no second or third striker is the kind of person you would be happy living next door to you…and neither should you be…

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  66. Johnboy (17,051 comments) says:

    It’s bad enough getting to chat to some second strikers on a popular blog, even if they are worn out old farts! :)

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  67. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    JB: dont get me started on that particular aged POS…I cannot for the life of me figure out why our gracious host is intimidated by him..As you know, I have extended a standing invitation for him to come out here and argue the price of fish…after he has thoroughly familiarized himself with the sections of the Crimes Act dealing with self defence…but my house is a bit far from the road boundary for a shotty to be much use…

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  68. nasska (12,107 comments) says:

    Any darkened doorways across the road from you DG?

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  69. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    No….the prick would have to reveal himself…and I don’t think that is his MO

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  70. Johnboy (17,051 comments) says:

    Hush you guys. He’s a tough, dangerous fellow. :) Wouldn’t pay to upset him.

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  71. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    The good thing is the law on self defence is partly subjective in judging what is “reasonable force”:…to whit: “reasonable in the circumstances as [the defendant] perceives them to be”…Now it doesn’t require a legal genius to work out that it is quite “reasonable” to regard a two time killer as a very dangerous man…a man who you may well think is so dangerous that shooting him on sight would be “reasonable”?? Me being a bit of a wimp who never played rugby past standard four…I regard such a person as extremely dangerous to me and my loved ones…

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  72. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    I don’t think the two-time bastard likes my view on capital crime

    Suspended death penalty first offence

    on 2nd conviction for capital crime

    Taken out the back and feed some lead for the first.

    No appeal No defence No time wasted.

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  73. Rex Widerstrom (5,013 comments) says:

    While it seems our conservatives remain wedded to harsher sentences, even those in Texas are beginning to see the light.

    @David Garrett

    You could ask 100 offenders who had gone 1 or 2 years without reoffending – or at least not being caught – why they didnt reoffend, and you would get a range of answers, some of which may even be true

    While I disagree with much you say, I can see the sense in it but with respect that’s really a silly thing to say. What motive would offenders have to lie about such a thing? I’ve done research with ex offenders and know people who’ve devoted their professional lives to such work. Provided you’ve won their trust we’ve found them to be, if anything, more honest than many subjects.

    Especially if they’ve “woken up” and stopped offending, many have the reformed smoker’s passion for warning others off tobacco – they’re keen to share anything that would help others to make the same decision.

    We really do need to do more research into what triggers people to stop offending, and the best way to do that is to ask them. I’d have hoped that’d be something you’d support.

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  74. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Rex: You may have assumed the “..some of them may be true” part of my post was being facetious…and I guess it partly was…but surely a man with your experience (no sarcasm intended) would not suggest that we accept anything cons – or ex cons – say as gospel, without any cynicism and justifiable doubt??

    But let me ask you this…would you be quite comfortable having a hostel for second strikers in your street? Please be honest…

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  75. Johnboy (17,051 comments) says:

    I gave up smoking 40 a day 16 years ago Rex and I’d still be happy to give pieces of shit a bullet in the ear if the pay was adequate. In fact I’m looking for a part-time retirement job! :)

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  76. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    I suspect The Killer is here, lurking around with his finger ready to press “down”…but not saying anything…because Mummy isn’t here to stick up for him, and he’s not so brave by himself…

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  77. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Ah, there he is…I repeat: Anytime Killer…Kanohi Road Kaukapakapa…old villa house with a green roof, down a long drive…try to exercise the shred of decency you might possess, and don’t come out when my kids are here for the weekend…they are not here this weekend…

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  78. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    What a brave little Killer he is…and never one fucking word of empathy for Margaret’s parents…Imagine the pain of missing out on all the milestones the parents of a young girl – as I now am – look forward to?

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  79. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    Put the trash out.

    your continued input to this blog is more valuable than the man in question.

    Minus an its down ticks are just cowardly bravery. Here we can only fight with words. some come unarmed.

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  80. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Griff: You are right….but I am full of fury about The Killer…in any rational system of justice he should have been subjected to a long drop on a hemp rope 30 years ago…instead here he is, freely commenting on the most erudite blog in the country… intimidating our host…and people like his mummy defending him at every opportunity…doesnt sit at all well with me…

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  81. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    David

    We live within an often perverse system

    You have made considerable deference to the future of many of these feral humans. More than any one could hope for in the present political climate.

    For me there comes a point when Harm to us all over rides the rights of a single member of society.

    Many selfishly belive other wise.

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  82. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    Singapore really is the only country in the world with a functioning justice system

    that allows its people the freedom to get on with their lives safely

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  83. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    What are the Recent Stats for

    Murder
    Child Murder
    Rape
    Assault

    esp AK

    are there still drunk violent people intimidating paying passengers on Public transport

    Melbourne has armed guards with Glocks on every train stations at Night

    I think Auckland is so bad that the “NZ army should patrol it at Night” backing up the police

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  84. mikenmild (12,402 comments) says:

    Oh, NZ isn’t that bad Ben. I once had a South African tell me he enjoyed being in the Police in NZ because we “have no crime here”.

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  85. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Mikey: Indeed we do have relatively low levels of crime here compared with other countries…but is that a sensible measure or comparison? I dont know how old you are…older than your quaint belief in the validity and efficacy of socialism would suggest I think…but if you are over 50 – as I am – you would know that compared with 40 or 50 years ago we have much higher levels of all crime now.

    The most obvious example is homicide and agg robbery – both very rare crimes in the 1950’s and 60’s, with rates among the lowest in the world. While our homicide rate has declined considerably since it peaked in the early 90’s, it is still about three times what it was ( about 1.5 per hundred thousand of population per year compared with .5 per 100k or less 50 years ago.

    Burglary is a crime which the police no longer even investigate – they have more important things to spend their time on, and not enough cops. Burglary is a crime which disproportionately affects the poor – both because they suffer more of it, and because the impact on them is so much greater (they are often uninsured or underinsured for example).

    So while a transplanted South African policeman may well think we have no crime here, the reality compared with 40 years ago is sadly very different.

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  86. mikenmild (12,402 comments) says:

    Yes, I suppose the slide started with abolishing the death penalty.
    I was really making the comment just to contrast with Ben’s loopy suggestion that the Army was needed to patrol Auckland at night.

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  87. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Mikey: Although I am sure you are being sarcastic about the effect of abolition of the death penalty, consider this…(Particularly in light of the “remove lead from paint and petrol and 20 years later crime drops significantly” argument)

    Mine was the first generation which went through adolesence and grew to adulthoold without the threat of the ultimate sanction should we kill someone. Teenagers – and others – in 1955 passed through that turbulent time with the knowledge, conscious or subconscious, that if they killed someone in some stupid fight or in a deliberate act of bravado, they would probably lose their lives too, on the end of a rope in Mt Eden. In 1961 the threat of that sanction was removed.

    Fast forward 20 years – as the “lead in paint theorists do” – and what do we find? Violent crime at levels more than twice what they were when the ultimate sanction was a reality.

    Just sayin’ (as I believe is the vernacular) And NO, I am not advocating a return of CP…for reasons I have outlined here before I believe all restoration would do in our current liberal soft-cock society is lead to a plehtora of perverse verdicts of manslaughter…even if CP was a discretionary sentence and not mandatory.

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  88. mikenmild (12,402 comments) says:

    There is very little evidence that the death penalty has a deterrent effect. I think you need to look at much wider economic and social changes since the 1960s to understand why crime rates have risen and fallen.

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  89. Ryan Sproull (7,360 comments) says:

    Fast forward 20 years – as the “lead in paint theorists do”

    Wait, is your problem with “lead in paint (well, petrol, isn’t it?) theorists” or with the whole notion of cause and effect and linear time in general?

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  90. David Garrett (7,701 comments) says:

    Ryan: I have no problem at all with “the notion of cause and effect and linear time” It is just in this particular case the “cause and effect” argument simply doesn’t line up with the facts.

    To understand this particular argument you need to read the “Listener” article from two weeks ago…it posited that there was an almost complete correlation – and causation – between blood lead levels in 1950 and crime rates twenty years later. The author claimed it explained 93% of crime levels.

    Among the many flaws in the argument was the lack of explanation for the situation – in both cases – twenty or thirty years BEFORE 1950, when lead was literally in almost everything, including commerical and garden sprays. Did you ever see your grandfather wearing a mask when he was spraying “arsenate of lead” over this fruit trees? A bloody big tin of arsenate of lead was an essential weapon against pests for mid 20th century gardeners, both commercial and home.

    If the argument the article posits was valid, there ought to have been a veritable crime wave in NZ in the 1950’s as we reaped the consequences of the huge levels of environmental lead 20 years earlier. Instead the 1950’s was a decade where crime was a fraction of the levels seen today.

    I would be most interested in your explanation for that phenomenon.

    Mikey: You are quite right, the evidence of the death penalty as a deterrent is most unequivocal – for every study of a state or country that shows a deterrent effect, there is another than shows none – or even an increase if CP is a punishment. But one thing is certain – the way it was and is done in the US will certainly never be effective as a deterrent if only because of the inordinate delays in carrying out the sentence.

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  91. Ryan Sproull (7,360 comments) says:

    As I understand it, the theory is based on a correlation between the introduction of unleaded petrol and a reduction in the rate of certain kinds of crimes a few decades later. The proposed explanation for the correlation being that childhood exposure to leaded petrol has an effect on mental development – a phenomenon that’s already got strong evidence for it in terms of cognitive ability, etc.

    So it’s childhood exposure to leaded petrol fumes that are involved in the theory, because it’s only the introduction of unleaded petrol that correlates with the subsequent drop in crime. Car petrol fume pollution was nowhere near as concentrated in 1930 as it was in 1987.

    But that wasn’t my point. My point was that you said this…

    Fast forward 20 years – as the “lead in paint theorists do” – and what do we find? Violent crime at levels more than twice what they were when the ultimate sanction was a reality.

    …as if you were showing how crazy the unleaded-petrol-correlation theorists are for looking at correlations 20 years after changes in an environment. To me, it’s a perfectly sensible thing to suggest a correlation between ending the death penalty and a subsequent rise in crime rates. Especially if you can show that same correlation consistently showing up in different countries at different times.

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