Back to jail for high-risk offenders
Tue, 18 Sep 2012 2:04p.m.
By 3 News online staff
The Government has introduced legislation that could see serious sexual and violent offenders re-imprisoned if they are deemed to have a high chance of reoffending.
Justice Minister Judith Collins says the Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill, if passed, will allow the High Court to order high-risk offenders back to jail.
Ms Collins says the offenders would be held in a secure facility until the High Court was convinced they are safe for release.
The legislation comes three weeks after serial sex-offender Stewart Murray Wilson was released from prison in Whanganui.
His parole conditions are the strictest ever imposed in New Zealand but Ms Collins says he should never have been released.
Last month, she told 3 News she would like the legislation to be retrospective so offenders like Mr Wilson would be ordered back into prison.
“Somebody with the sort of offending history of Stewart Murray Wilson, who has shown no remorse and is considered to be of extreme danger to members of the public, that is the sort of person who is likely to be subject to one of these orders,” she said.
Ms Collins' announcement today didn't mention if the legislation will be retrospective.
The test for handing down a new public protection order would be high, Ms Collins says.
“There will be strong checks and balances to ensure orders are applied appropriately and reviewed regularly, and give offenders as many civil rights as practicable.”
An offender who has been handed an order would have to seek a review for it to be lifted, and would be released if they no longer fit the criteria.
Ms Collins says she expects up to 12 offenders to receive the order in the next decade.
The orders, also known as civil detention, where proposed by Ms Collins during the 2008 election campaign when she was Corrections Minister.
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22/11/2012 10:07:57 a.m.
concerned citizen wrote:
my previous comment was about Rima Matea Devlin
22/11/2012 10:05:30 a.m.
And again this predator attacks, breaking into peoples cars on the streets of Invercargill which is in the court system as this is being posted. The sad thing is that although Mrs Wards family live to remember the Invercargill public seem to have but forgotten. I hope this man receives a hefty sentence as he states burglary was the motive which then lead to the vicious rape of an elderly woman and again he is out invading peoples private space. This man is dangerous and still has no remorse even claiming he has no recollection of the rape. And still after 19years has had no rehabilitation what does that say.... Lets hope the justice system steps up to the play and puts him back where he belongs.
20/09/2012 6:07:44 p.m.
Despite the impression that the public is frequently given, sexual offenders are actually at low risk of reoffending compared with other offenders.
19/09/2012 8:16:40 a.m.
I don't like the sound of the High Court getting to make the decision. Our judges are known to be soft.
19/09/2012 8:14:31 a.m.
Fair NZer wrote:
Good move,keep other NZers and also foreign tourists safe...
18/09/2012 11:55:19 p.m.
Don't we already have a Preventitive detention law for this sort of thing?
18/09/2012 10:08:00 p.m.
invercargill granddaughter wrote:
I am the granddaughter of the very courageous Mrs Elizabeth Ward , who was brutally raped by Rima Matea Devlin during a home invasion in 1993. My grandmother was 81 years old, Devlin just 16. After my grandmothers attack she bravely refused to move from her home, and fought to maintain her dignity and independence. To undertake this she locked herself in her bedroom every night, carried a monitored personal alarm and very rarely left her house unaccompanied. Privately she carried shame and fear and suffered from ongoing medical issues as a direct result of the rape.
Devlin was incarcerated for his crime 5 years later. On his arrest it was reported by arresting officers that Devlin had stated “I thought it would take you longer than this to find me”.
The self confessed rapists sat in prison, refusing to co operate or engage in any form of rehabilitation. During parole hearings recommendations were put forward by the experts that this offender was at high risk of reoffending. As a result, and Devlin’s own continued ignorance and lack of remorse, the New Zealand Parole Board enforced Section 107. As a family we celebrated in this. Devlin would carry out his full eleven years of his imposed sentence, and be off the streets for just that little bit longer.
But not surprising Devlin’s offending has continued as predicted. Less than three years after his release, he was once again back in prison for preying on the vulnerable.
Good job to Judith Collins for addressing this issue. Our experience is a very shortened example of not every violent sexual offender wanting or capable of rehabilitation, therefore after serving their time what and where do they go ?? Do you want them in your community?? In my opinion the 11 years imposed on Devlin was never enough after what he took from my Grandmother and our family. Tougher and Life sentences should be imposed! The purposed Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill could offer a firmer sense of justice to many victims and would give some peace of not always looking over their shoulders and wondering as we do. Ten years after her attack at the age of 91, my beautiful grandmother passed away, but will forever live on as our biggest hero. I know Nana would have been in strong support of this legislation if it meant people could be safe from the monsters in our society.
18/09/2012 8:17:13 p.m.
I like it, seems sensible. Has my support. Thanks Judith.
18/09/2012 7:59:41 p.m.
Good Job wrote:
I think life sentence should mean life. What happened to the safety or NZ people?? If we cant have guns, keep our country free of serious offenders. Bring in the death penalty.
18/09/2012 6:33:10 p.m.
that's the entire national party locked up then is it not , oh and we will throw away the key ms Collins.
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