9 Oct 2020

Labour promises $59m for law and order over four years

1:02 pm on 9 October 2020

Labour has announced a $59 million law and order reform policy, focused on drug and prisoner rehabilitation.

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Labour's justice spokesperson, Andrew Little, says if re-elected, the party will work to ensure victims' voices are heard in the justice system. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern said long-term work to reduce offending and improve rehabilitation would continue if Labour was re-elected.

Labour's justice spokesperson, Andrew Little, said 30 years of locking more people up for longer had not made communities safe. Instead, it had resulted in a reoffending rate of 61 percent, he said.

"We need to break the cycle of re-offending, and to do that we must tackle the drivers of crime," Little said.

"Victims still struggle to have their voices heard in the criminal justice system and we will work to strengthen their place and ensure their voices are heard."

Labour's Corrections spokesperson, Kelvin Davis, said Māori women had high rates of incarceration, but the corrections system had largely been built around the needs of male offenders.

"We know women respond differently to treatment and management and that many women in prison have complex histories of trauma, mental health and addiction issues, family violence and poverty that contribute to their offending," Davis said.

"We need to give women in prison the treatment, skills and support they need to shape better futures for themselves, their children and families. That's why Labour will implement Wāhine Māori Pathways, starting with Christchurch Women's Prison."

Labour would:

  • Roll out meth treatment programme to 4000 more people
  • Establish an alcohol and other drug treatment court in Hawke's Bay
  • Expand Māori Pathways prison rehabilitation programme to wāhine Māori
  • Strengthen the Māori, Pacific and ethnic services group within police
  • Ensure growth in police numbers matches population growth

The proposed initiatives would cost $59 million over four years, Labour said.

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