Simon Bridges points out:
The Prime Minister is misleading New Zealanders by falsely claiming prisons are full of low level offenders in order to try and justify the mess her Government is making on law and order and its refusal to build a new prison, Opposition Leader Simon Bridges says.
Yep the PM claimed prisons are full of low level offenders. Politik reports her words:
“The American style approach of building mega-style prisons and filling them with low-level criminals is not working.
Did those second strikers I profiled look like low-level criminals? Her statement is just out of touch with reality.
Bridges points out:
“The Government’s own figures show that 98 per cent of prisoners are locked up for Category 3 and Category 4 crimes. These are offences punishable by two years in prison or more. These include murder, manslaughter, rape, aggravated assault and sexual violence.
Very low level.
“It is also worth noting that people on remand or serving sentences in New Zealand prisons have an average of 46 convictions on their criminal record.
The Sentencing Act actually requires Judges to only send someone to prison as a last resort. It says you must do a non custodial sentence if possible.
The prison population comprises the following by offence category
- Category 1 (infringements and fines) – zero
- Category 2 (term of imprisonment of less than two years) – 224 (2.1%)
- Category 3 (term of imprisonment of more than two years) – 9,698 (91.0%)
- Category 4 – (murder, manslaughter, treason, piracy, slavery, public corruption) 738 (6.9%)