The government’s decision to remove legal aid funding for pre-sentencing cultural reports is racist and will fuel mass incarceration, says the justice advocacy group People Against Prisons Aotearoa.
“Pre-sentencing reports are a helpful tool for judges to make informed sentencing decisions,” says the group’s spokesperson, Emmy Rākete. “Removing legal aid funding for reports will result in more ill-informed and inappropriately long prison sentences.”
“There is no fiscal argument for ending cultural report funding-they pay for themselves by reducing state spending on incarceration. The government is attacking cultural reports for the sole purpose of locking up more working class and Māori people for longer.”
“It’s right-wing culture war racism for the sake of racism. The coalition government are happy to dump millions of dollars in tax cuts onto your landlord, your boss, and your bank manager. While the rich get richer, the government frantically point their finger at some of the poorest people in the country over an amount of legal aid funding that Luxon could scrape out of the back of his couch.”