United Future has released/leaked their draft law and order policy. Highlights below with my comments.
* Voluntary chemical castration for sex offenders as a pre-condition of parole.
Umm, how is it voluntary if it is a pre-condition? I suppose one can say that they just don’t apply for parole. What happens to female sex offenders?
Also castration won’t stop some sex offenders, as it is the power not the sex which give them the jollies.
* Life jail terms for “heinous” crimes.
Need to define heinous better. If one means the worst murders I’m in favour.
* Making drug dealers accomplices to crimes committed by people they supply with drugs.
Sounds appealing but impractical and unfair. Do they mean crimes committed by people under the influence of drugs or just any crime done by someone? Also would one distinguish between the very small time dealer who sells a bit of cannabis to their mates and the gang run P labs?
* Lowering age of criminal responsibility from 14 to 12.
* Specialist drug courts and abolishing current drug classifications to remove the distinction between hard and soft drugs.
Now this is just dopey. Treating say esctasy the same as heroin and P is daft.
* Scrapping all concurrent sentences; sentencing to be cumulative.
Always sounds appealing but I remember the case in Iran where a postal worker who stole mail got sentenced to a month in jail for every letter not delivered. This meant a 15,456 year sentence.
When it comes to murders, we almost have this as double murders get longer non parole conditions. I wouldn’t object to rapists getting cumulative sentences but trying to abolish all concurrent sentences will mean those who commit numerous petty crimes will serve longer in jail than those who do serious ciolent crimes.
* Parole Board decisions subject to appeal by victims
Personally I think parole is a failed experiment that should be abolished. Nine years for rape should not mean parole eligible in three years. I like National’s policy to abolish parole and have some sort of post-sentence monitoring with sanctions.
But while we have it, the above idea works for me. 7/10
* Boosting police numbers to 8750 so the per capita rate is similar to the New York policing model.
We currently have around 7,500 officers. Yes we do need more I suspect, but the priorities they are set is also important. 7/10
* Giving judges discretion to hold parents and guardians financially liable for the crimes of their children.
I’m mixed on this. Usually youth offending will be the fault of the parents, but not always. I’ve seen some youth offenders whose parents were faultless. On balance I think this could cause more problems than it solves, 4/10
* Making all court processes public.
Yep. Justice must be in public. One can ban certain details from being reported but it should be in public. 8/10
Total score 54%