Parole Amendment Bill and Public Safety Bill pass into legislation
Wed 10 Dec 2014
The Parole (Extended Supervision Orders) Amendment Bill and the Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill have been passed by Parliament. The ...
The Parole (Extended Supervision Orders) Amendment Bill and the Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill have been passed by Parliament.
The Parole Amendment Bill expands Extended Supervision Orders (ESOs) for child sex offenders beyond their current maximum 10 year limit for those who pose a high risk of serious reoffending. The Bill also allows ESOs to be applied to high risk sex offenders against adults and very high risk violent offenders, renewable as required. The first ESOs lasting ten years are due to run out at the start of 2015.
Prior to passing through Parliament, the Bill was strengthened to:
- Provide a single point of judicial decision-making in respect of the highest risk offenders who complete a finite prison sentence.
- Provide that a court may impose an interim ESO while it is considering an ESO application.
Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga said "We need to do as much as possible to keep our families and especially our children safe. Corrections needs to be able to continue to manage a small number of high risk offenders in the community for as long as necessary."
The Bill passed with unanimous support from all political parties, despite concern over human rights limitations raised by the Law Society and Attorney General.
The Public Safety Bill allows the High Court to make a Public Protection Order (PPO) to detain high-risk individuals following their release from jail. Those subject to an order would be held in a secure facility until they are considered to not pose a threat to public safety.
The Order will apply to offenders who have completed sentences for serious sexual or violent offending either in New Zealand or overseas, or are subject to the most intensive form of extended supervision order, but continue to pose a very high risk of imminent and serious sexual or violent reoffending.
Justice Minister Amy Adams said "Public safety is paramount. The aim of public protection orders is to keep the public safe from people who pose a very high risk of imminent serious sexual or violent offending. The new orders will apply in situations where existing measures, such as parole conditions and extended supervision orders, don't go far enough to keep a community safe."
Image: 'A little justice' by Orange Sparrow. Licence Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)