The Green Party welcomes the long overdue repeal of the archaic Three Strikes law and calls on the Government to follow this move with more transformative reform of our broken justice system.
“The Green Party has been pushing for the repeal of the three strikes law for a long time and we’re delighted it is finally happening,” says justice spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman.
“The three strikes law has led to grossly unfair results that disproportionately impacted Māori, including much harsher sentences than would otherwise have been imposed.
“We call on Labour to follow this positive announcement by implementing a sentencing review process for those who have been affected by the three strikes law. Anyone who has received a maximum penalty should be given a new sentence which is proportionate to the crime committed and offers opportunity for rehabilitation.
Golriz Ghahraman added that a partnership with the Greens offered Labour a huge opportunity to ensure transformative change in New Zealand’s justice system.
“New Zealand needs a justice system that treats all people with humanity, dignity, and respect. This needs to include a commitment to resource alternatives to imprisonment proven effective globally.
“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.
“Evidence from overseas shows that alternatives to imprisonment can bring down offending, aid in successful rehabilitation, and support people to integrate into the community. Imprisonment can and must be seen as a last resort, rather than the failed norm in our system.
“We know that our justice system disproportionately targets Māori, other communities of colour, those with mental health and addiction issues, and brain injuries. We need to fix this and create a system that recognises the mana inherent in all people and communities, including te ao Māori led approaches.
“But fixing the justice system doesn’t stop there. Labour must now show courage in moving toward a system that addresses the causes of offending, including mental healthcare, addiction treatment, housing and liveable income support, while introducing a new pathway away from prisons,” Golriz Ghahraman says.