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Budget 'pours more money into a failed criminal justice system'

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

People Against Prisons Aotearoa (PAPA) is disappointed by large increases in police and prison spending in the 2018 Budget.

‘This government is saying one thing and doing another. While it calls for a "more humane justice system" it pours billions of dollars into a prison system that doesn’t work,’ says PAPA spokeswoman Emilie Rākete.

‘Budget 2018 is the first budget in New Zealand history to spend more than one billion dollars on prison-based custodial services. This money is not only wasted, but actually makes our communities less safe.’

PAPA is very critical of the budget allocation for 1800 more police officers over four years, on top of an additional 880 sworn officers and 245 other employees in the government’s ‘Safe, Confident and Resilient Communities’ package.

‘More cops will lead to more people being put in prison. This will rip families apart and undermine public safety,’ says Rākete.

PAPA says that this budget undermines the government’s goal to reduce the prison population by 30% over the next 15 years.

‘The government has basically given up on reducing the prison population, increasing Corrections’ capital expenditure by 34.86% to $393 million.’

‘The fact that this government is going to build 600 new prisoner places demonstrates how little commitment it has to reducing prisoner numbers.’

PAPA is calling for immediate changes to bail, sentencing, and parole laws to reduce the prison population. ‘This money would be better spent on providing more people with decent housing, healthcare, and education,’ says Rākete.

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