While Aucklanders have been locked up in lockdown, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis has been giving thousands of criminals sentenced to community work a ‘get out of jail free’ card, National’s spokesperson for Corrections Simeon Brown says.
Figures released to National show that more than 70,000 hours have been taken off sentences for more than 3600 offenders who are doing community work since the beginning of the latest Covid outbreak.
“It is an astonishing number of hours to have been taken off offenders who have been sentenced to undertake community work. These offenders are being let off the hook by the Government.”
The Epidemic Preparedness (Epidemic Management-COVID-19-Parole Act 2002 and Sentencing Act 2002) Notice which was signed off by the Prime Minister came into effect in March last year and allows for Corrections to extend the period for which a community work sentence can be carried out or for the hours to be reduced.
“Naturally, with Covid restrictions preventing community work from being completed, there is a need to do something, but it doesn’t make sense to simply delete these hours rather than extending or postponing them,” Mr Brown says.
“Thousands of offenders have had hours cut from their sentences with the Government once again choosing the soft option when it comes to crime and criminals.
“Extending the timeframe to complete a sentence would mean offenders still have to face the consequences of their actions. Wiping the slate sends an appalling message to the victims of these crimes.
“This is not even the first time Kelvin Davis has done this; last year more than 5500 offenders had community work hours wiped. It was a total of 138,000 hours.
“National is the party of law and order and we believe that if you do the crime, you should do the time. Offenders should be held responsible for their crimes and fully complete the court-imposed sentence.”
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