May 02, 2013
Mugger facing third strike
Greens justice spokesperson Dave Clendon says the prospect of a 21-year-old mugger going to jail for 14 years under the three strikes law shows how the law is flawed.
Hastings man Elijah Whaanga has been sentenced to two years' jail for aggravated robbery for stealing a skateboard, hat and cigarette lighter and issued with his second strike.
Mr Clendon says when the law was introduced, its backers said it would only apply to the worst of the worst.That’s clearly not how it is working, and the threat of lengthy sentences isn’t going to make young people like Whaanga turn their lives around.
“I think it’s interesting that this young man has done two terms in prison, he comes out and within a very short time he’s offending again. It says to me that what’s happening inside our prison is not sufficient to deter people from reoffending.
Rehabilitation and reintegration programmes are underfunded. We’re putting too little resource into straightening these young men out, giving them an opportunity to deal with their problems and we’re spending too much money on building new prisons,” he says.
Dave Clendon says if 10 percent of the $900 million being spent on the new Wiri Prison went on rehabilitation programmes, the prison would not be needed.
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