Family First Rubbishes Latest Attack on Three Strikes

Family First NZ is rubbishing claims that the ‘Three Strikes’ proposed law would lead to increased family violence and desperate criminals killing to avoid arrest.

“Experts in the US say that the study referred to by lobby group Rethinking Crime and Punishment that attributes Three Strikes to increased violence rates is fundamentally flawed,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “It found no increase in violence in California, which is the state that has the broadest and most liberal application of the three strikes law.”

“In fact, 14 years after the Three Strikes was passed in 1994, homicides decreased from 3,699 in 1994 to 2,258 in 2007, despite a 30% increase in the population. Rape also decreased as did assaults. In contrast, NZ’s rate of violent crime is on the up.”

“Experts say that persistent abusers are never persuaded by public relations campaigns to stop their bad behavior. The only way to protect women, children, and the elderly from repeat violent offenders is to incapacitate them.  Additionally, numerous studies from the U.S. have found that mandatory arrest and jail sentences for domestic abusers have not affected police reporting rates and they have worked very well to lower repeat instances of domestic violence.”

Family First is supporting the intent of the proposed Three Strikes law with some amendments, including lowering the threshold to incur a ‘strike’.

“The purpose of this law would be to warn ‘career criminals’ to find a new job or else they will become ‘career inmates’. They are effectively being given two chances to stop their violent behaviour. This law would allow police, prosecutors and judges to intervene early enough to save lives instead of waiting for a violent offender to victimise another person,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“The Three Strikes law will reinforce the “Its Not OK” message by taking victimisations seriously.  A slap on the wrist for domestic violence undermines our efforts to reduce tolerance for violence and the career choice of repeat violent offenders.”

“It is time the law acted to place the protection and wellbeing of families first.”

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