Three Strikes Has Failed Before And Will Fail Again

Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

Resurrecting the archaic three-strikes legislation is an unwelcome return to a failed American-style approach to justice.

“New Zealand needs a justice system that treats all people with humanity, dignity, and respect. Bringing back the failed three strikes law will lead to grossly unfair results that disproportionately impact Māori, including much harsher sentences than would otherwise be imposed,” says Green Party Justice spokesperson Tamatha Paul.

“It is shameful that New Zealand has one of the highest imprisonment rates in the developed world. This is despite mounting evidence that mass incarceration has failed to bring down rates of crime, keep communities safe, or rehabilitate those in our system.

“The Government is hell-bent on funnelling more and more people into prisons. It is another poorly thought out idea imported from the United States that is designed to do little more than make the Government look ‘tough’.

“If the Government genuinely cared about addressing people’s concerns about crime then it could take action to address the causes of offending, including mental healthcare, addiction treatment, housing and liveable income support, while introducing a new pathway away from prisons.

“Imprisonment can and must be seen as a last resort, rather than the failed norm in our system.

“The three strikes law means that mistakes that people might make as teenagers will be with them for their entire life. It means even if you’ve turned your whole life around, you could still end up in prison for life. It means no matter what changes you make towards being a better person, your life is reduced down to these rigid and inhumane three strikes and there’s nothing a judge can do about it,” says Tamatha Paul.

/Public Release. View in full here.