28 Jun 2009

Parole Board head questions 'over-use of imprisonment'

7:38 am on 28 June 2009

The chairman of the Parole Board says there are terrible, unintended consequences resulting from the over-use of imprisonment for offenders.

Judge David Carruthers says he has no doubt future generations of New Zealanders will look back in horror at the way society systematically locked up thousands of people, predominantly young men.

He says once freed, they are returned to the communities more inclined to be disruptive, abusive and violent.

Judge Carruthers told delegates at the Family and Foster Care Federation conference in Napier that next year 9,000 prisoners will be released back into the community.

He says international research shows that managing releases before sentences end can be up to three times more successful in preventing re-offending than automatic release at the end of a sentence.

David Carruthers says more needs to be done to integrate prisoners back into the community.