Thursday, November 13, 2008
The cost of vengeance
Three Strikes Proposal Would Cost Billions
Three Strikes Proposal Would Cost $3.5 - $5.5 billion
ACT's proposal to sentence offenders to 25 years after a third violent offence, is unaffordable, said Kim Workman, Director, Rethinking Crime and Punishment. "It would cost between $3.5 - $4.5 billion"
"During the election campaign, ACT spokeperson David Garrett said they would spend up to $1 billion to implement the policy. In fact, it would cost between $3 - $4 billion to implement, and a further ongoing cost of $56 - 75 million annual operational costs.
The Department of Corrections have 15,000 offenders with three or more convictions for violence, currently on their books. At least half of those are not currently in prison. Over a very short space of time, we would
end up with between 7,000 and 10,000 more offenders serving a prison sentence.
The National Party has promised to build one more prison for 572 prisoners at a cost of $314m, plus annual operating costs of $43m. On that basis, the increase in prison beds to accommodate the three strikes offenders, would cost between $3.8 and $5.5 billion. with annual operating costs between $52 and $75 million. That would be in addition to any increases arising from National's own policies. Even if they housed prisoners in containers, it is still not a viable proposition.
So the actual cost of implementing ACTs medieval law and order policy of three strikes and you’re fucked is not going to be a Billion dollars, it is in fact going to be anywhere between $3.5-$5.5 Billion – ummmmm, hands up what $3.5 - $5.5 Billion could do in our early intervention budgets, and keep those hands up who thinks we can afford that in a down turning economy? Is the nACTional plan to boost emplyment by making half the country prison guards and the other half prisoners?
How's that change you voted for NZ?