Dangerous repeat violent offenders and sex offenders could be
monitored for the rest of their lives after release from
prison, says Police and Corrections Minister Anne Tolley.
She wants to develop a comprehensive management scheme
similar to one run in Britain and says a law allowing it
could be passed by the 2014 election.
The Government also has a measure before Parliament that
would allow ex-prisoners to be sent back to jail indefinitely
if the High Court deemed them dangerous enough.
At present, the maximum time a former prisoner can be
supervised after release is 10 years, as in the case of
Stewart Murray Wilson, who is living in the grounds of
Mrs Tolley returned last week from visiting the Multi-Agency
Public Protection Arrangements group (Mappa) in London.
It monitors about 58,000 registered offenders who are deemed
to pose a serious risk of harm to the public on their
"They do a risk analysis of them and keep track of them
essentially for the rest of their lives," she said.
At a minimum, the offenders were required to register once a
Officials kept track of their address, job, family
relationships and other things depending on the individual.
The officials kept an eye on their propensity for offending
again but also worked with them to help them find another job
if they lost one, or find housing.
Mrs Tolley said she was worried that once repeat offenders
finished their parole or supervision orders they went out
into the community.
"Take someone like Stewart Wilson - he's on parole and then
he is on an extended supervision order for 10 years, which is
a really close monitoring of him, but at the end of that
period he is finished and we just walk away."
She hoped that because Wilson was older, his opportunities
for reoffending would be few, "but there are some younger
ones who will just disappear out into the community".
Asked about civil liberties concerns, she said most offenders
found it helpful to have that sort of structure in their
lives "and know if something goes wrong, there is someone
keeping track of them and they are not on their own out in
Mrs Tolley said the Police and Corrections had started doing
policy work on the scheme before her trip but it became clear
to her in London that it had to be a joint programme.
She has asked Police Commissioner Peter Marshall and
Corrections chief executive Ray Smith to make it a priority
so she could take a paper to the Cabinet by the middle of
- Audrey Young, New Zealand Herald