National's Simon Power is playing to the law and order buffs. I should know, being one. Here he highlights how many people on home detention are absconding.
Mr Power said the Government had put its obsession with reducing the number of prison inmates ahead of public safety.
Obsession? If Labour is obsessed the statistics don't reflect it.
The graph above groups the sentenced prisoner population according to current eligibility for discretionary release (either on parole or home detention). Prisoners in the category “no discretion for release” include those whose sentence does not allow early release on parole or home detention, as well as those who are eligible but have yet to pass their parole eligibility date. “Discretionary release eligible” refers to those who have passed their parole eligibility date or home detention eligibility date but have yet to be released or have been granted leave to apply for front end home detention but have yet to be released.
The data reflects the influence of parole laws introduced in 2002, which meant that parole eligibility occurred earlier in the sentences of longer-term prisoners. However, this has not meant that prisoners have been released earlier. Instead, the number of sentenced prisoners currently eligible for release, but who have yet to be granted release by the Parole Board, exceeds the number who are not eligible for release.
As it stands 48 out of 2,500 home detainees absconded. My point is, if National says it can do better, then they are saying they will eliminate all the risk. That would entail keeping all 2,500 home detainees in prison.
So will they be making a commitment to abolishing home detention and building prison capacity? What exactly is it that National are going to do better than Labour?
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