7 Nov 2011

High-risk inmates to stay in jail under National

6:09 pm on 7 November 2011

The National Party would introduce a law to enable the worst high-risk sexual or violent offenders to be kept in custody after their sentences are finished.


The party's law and order spokesperson, Judith Collins, says National would introduce civil detention orders to allow offenders to be kept in prison until the Parole Board was convinced they were safe to be released.

Ms Collins said the new orders were expected to apply to between five and 12 offenders over a 10 year period.

She said public safety was being jeopardised by a small number of serious sexual and violent offenders.

Ms Collins told Checkpoint the High Court would have a very high threshold it would need to satisfy before granting such an order.

She said a small number of people are being released custody even though they still present a real danger to the community.

National would also introduce screening of parole applications, which Ms Collins said was aimed at reducing the number of unnecessary hearings.

She said more than 650 parole hearings are held every year for prisoners who have not completed part of their offender plan and the chance of them being granted parole at their first hearing is remote.

Ms Collins said victims should not be put through the stress of parole hearings for prisoners who are unsuitable for release.