Doug Graham in 1995 talking about early parole:
At this juncture, it appears that these early release provisions have been successful. As a result, the previously ever present need for more prison accommodation has been relieved, and we have been able to concentrate instead on improving or replacing some of the outdated existing accommodation. Further, the earlier release of a considerable number of prisoners does not appear to have resulted in a noticeable increase in the number of offences being committed: indeed, recent Police statistics show that there has been a decrease in reported offending.
Enough time has now passed that we can evaluate this. Take a look at this graph:
If there is any decrease in the prison population in 1993 then it doesn't last long.
This suggests that the root cause of the prison population is not that we are locking up too many people. We tried locking up fewer, and letting them out earlier, but the population is still increasing.
No, the cause of the rising prison population is crime.
I obtained information from the following places:
- Recorded crime and population stats from Stats NZ