Corrections Policy Called Corrupt
A men’s group has labelled a new policy announced this week by Corrections Minister Louise Upston as “corrupt”. The new policy aims to reduce the likelihood that female criminals will be sent to prison.
Spokesman Kerry Bevin for community group The Ministry of Men’s Affairs said the policy was an abandonment of the principle of equal justice for all under the law.
Under the policy, probation officers will be required to provide pre-sentence reports that show more understanding for female offenders and their circumstances, to reduce female imprisonment rates.
“Male offenders will not get the same understanding or compassion” Mr Bevin said.
He was appalled at the claim that women are more important than men in New Zealand families, one of the reasons Ms Upston offered for the new gender policy.
Mr Bevin also disputed the notion that discrimination favouring female criminals would achieve any outcome of reduced female offending. Instead, he predicted it would have the opposite effect of encouraging female crime.
Previous New Zealand research showed that women received lighter sentences than men for the same crimes.
“This increase of gender inequality in our justice system reflects a callous disregard for the rights and welfare of men and their children. While men have been imprisoned in increasing numbers for longer durations under this National government, Ms Upston now seeks to protect women from that same punishment.”
Mr Bevin announced that the Ministry of Men’s Affairs intends to take a complaint to the Human Rights Commission, describing the Upston policy as a breach of New Zealand’s commitments under the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights.