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Is the system overreaching paroling violent offenders?

New legislation rushed though last week is giving individual state correctional facilities the right to release offenders early, a literal monopoly “get out of jail free,” card if you will, due to the high rate in the state of new cases of COVID-19.

The new legislation is active for between 6 and 12 months and enables a predetermined class of inmate to be eligible for immediate parole due to overcrowding and general poor conditions in the NSW correctional facilities.

This class of prisoner will be determined “according to their health, vulnerability, age, offence, period before the end of the prison term and any other matter as set down in regulations.

In laymen’s terms this allows the NSW department of corrections the ability to release offenders because of the threat of an outbreak of CVOID-19 within their facilities because they can not keep them clean or provide social distancing.

Now other states are following suit and offenders are being released all over the country on early parole or they are being sentenced and paroled before serving a single day of their sentence due to COVID-19 concerns.

Here is my questions. What determines if someone is a risk to be relaeased? Is this a total failure on behalf of our justice system to protect the public. The public is be3ing fed the line from legislators that those released are least likely to be a danger.

On Monday the 23rd of March a violent offender appeared in court in Queensland Southport district court on charges of assualt occasioning bodily harm, endangering property by fire, and arson. He apperared befor Judge Julie Dick and the story was told.

This offender pleaded guilty to beating his ex-partner and setting her car on fire, he smashed her phone, you know so she could’t call for help. He then doused their lounge room with fuel while she huddled protecting her children. He punched her in the head several times.

He pleaded so this man did this horrific and violent act with children watching. He recieved a three year sentence, do not even get me started on the lightness of his term, and was immediately released on parole, with consideration of putting new germs into the prison system amid this outbreak.

Judge Dick “Both of the parties have agreed that in the incredibly unusual circumstances of today and because of concerns of COVID-19 and because of concerns if it gets into our crowded prison system, I will release you today.”

Justice served? The survivor of this awful attack spoke outside court. She stated that she felt “gutted” by the decision to release her ex-partner without any consequence for his behavior.

She told ABC news that she felt the law is again failing women and children.

I put it to you that this individual poses and extreme risk to the public, not the prison system. We have now gotten to a stage where we are so scared of a virus we have lost sight of the very present and real dangers that people pose to our society.

Understandably inmates have a right to safety, but as perpetrators of unsafe behavior towards others, do they not forgo that right just a little?

I am OK with the government releasing people who commit non-violent crimes, let’s have a wave of embezzlers and low level pot dealers on the street BEFORE men who try and set women and children on fire shall we?

Sleep with one eye open

Ann

sources: https://theconversation.com/explainer-how-will-the-emergency-release-of-nsw-prisoners-due-to-coronavirus-work-134523 accessed April 3 2020

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-28/domestic-violence-offender-released-prison-coronavirus/12098082 accessed April 3 2020

Facebook group “the RED HEART campaign” lovingly tended by Sherele Moody.

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