New Conservative recognises that while there should always be a punitive aspect to sentencing, a major focus of sentencing should be to provide an opportunity, and incentives, for a prisoner to change their ways and be well prepared for a successful return to the community. Our three stage sentencing plan will greatly increase the likelihood of successful re-entry.
We will increase the maximum sentences outlined in legislation for all violent, firearm related and sexual crimes and ensure that offenders actively involve themselves in work and education. Parole would be from stage to stage, incentivising prisoners to move through stages faster with appropriate behaviour e.g. prisoner completes his/her education and is rewarded by being moved to “Open Prison” stage earlier.
We believe that where someone commits multiple crimes for which they are convicted, the perpetrator should serve each sentence sequentially (i.e. one after the other) and not concurrently (i.e. all at the same time) as they do now.
New Conservative will increase sentences for 'white collar' crime. We do not believe our current legal system adequately addresses the destruction that is caused by those who perpetrate frauds, many of which have resulted in their victims losing everything they have. We will work to find a cross-party consensus on this issue and ensure greater protections are put in place for the victims of ‘white collar’ crime. We will also investigate all possible ways of ensuring perpetrators recompense their victims while they are significantly penalized for their crimes, including a retrospective audit into their accounts to recover lost funds.
New Conservative believes that there is an unacceptable level of crime which occurs while people are out on bail. We believe that anyone charged with a serious crime that attracts a mandatory prison sentence should be refused bail. We believe that severe consequences should be handed down to those who commit crimes while on bail, as this is a further breach in trust, committed by those who have already let society down.
New Conservative will set fines at a minimum of twice the estimated costs of damages or thefts which will be used to compensate the victim, plus court costs to be set at actual costs. For example, a shoplifter will pay the shop owner twice what the stolen items cost, plus pay any court related costs.
New Conservative will investigate the impact of plea-bargaining on justice in New Zealand. While we acknowledge the need to keep the justice system running efficiently, its primary function is to provide justice acceptable to society and the victim of the crime. We believe a thorough investigation needs to be done into the adequacy of the current system to see whether justice is actually being served or whether justice is being passed over in the name of expediency.