Three Strikes Law

Family First supports the intent of the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill (also dubbed the “Three Strikes Law”). This law prevents REPEAT VIOLENT OFFENDERS the ability to put families at risk. Here’s just one recent example “Police Killer had history of violence

As stated in our submission…
* The purpose of this law would be to warn career criminals to find a new job or else they will become career inmates – they are given 2 chances to stop their violent behaviour
* This law would allow police, prosecutors and judges to intervene early enough to save lives instead of waiting for a violent offender to victimise another person.
* Supporters of this bill do not want ‘revenge’ – they simply wish to be able to live unmolested and not in the fear of violent criminals. This is called ‘justice.’
* The consequences for persistent offending should be sufficiently severe to ensure that the benefits of the crime are outweighed by the punishment
* If a repeat offender is incapacitated, then the crime reduction will be great
* Addressing the ‘underlying causes’ is relevant, but it doesn’t solve the immediate problem – protecting the public from persistent offenders
* research in California which implemented Three Strikes in 1994 has shown that California’s population is 50% larger… but crime is 50% less!!

Please note: there is further debate to be had on the role of prisons and how we tackle the drug, alcohol and educational needs of inmates. BUT that is a separate debate. This bill is about protecting your family and mine from REPEAT violent offenders.
Recent experience in the United States has also shown that enhanced sentencing measures work best when combined with other types of programs that can help reintegrate offenders back into the community. Government re-entry assistance in the form of temporary housing, vocational training, and counseling promises to help to reduce the incidents of re-offending and encourage offenders to seek productive and useful lives.

Here’s NZ’s current trend (per head of population)…

READ our Full Submission
READ our Submission to the amended bill (Feb 2010)

Three-strikes bill ‘not tough enough’
NZ Herald Mar 11, 2010
The controversial three strikes bill is a good start, but is not tough enough, says lobby group Family First. In a written submission to law and order select committee, Family First said the bill discriminated on grounds of age, and the list of qualifying offences did not include the manufacture or sale of the drug P. Despite the battle on P being a priority for the Government, Police Minister Judith Collins, who is responsible for the bill, said drug offences are not being considered for the three strikes rule. The committee is considering the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill, which sets a standard sentence after one strike, a sentence with no parole for the second strike, and the maximum sentence for the offence and no parole for the third.

There are 36 offences, ranging from murder to compelling an indecent act with an animal, that qualify as a strike. Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said aggravated assault and assault with intent to injure should be added to the list. But excluding youths was the worst aspect of the bill. “This means that offenders such as Bailey Junior Kurariki, and Kerikeri teenager Hermanus Kriel, who was convicted last month for the murder of Liberty Templeman, receive no warnings because of their age,” he said.