Mana Would Give The Vote To Prisoners

Press Release – Mana Party

MANA justice spokesperson Annette Sykes says the right to vote should be returned to people in prison. Ms Sykes says MANA agrees with the Human Rights Commission report on human rights for prisoners which highlights the that attention to prisoner needs …6 October 2011

Mana Would Give The Vote To Prisoners

MANA justice spokesperson Annette Sykes says the right to vote should be returned to people in prison.

Ms Sykes says MANA agrees with the Human Rights Commission report on human rights for prisoners which highlights the that attention to prisoner needs helps reduce conflict, strengthens rehabilitation, and ultimately leads to safer societies.

“Respecting human rights means respecting everyone’s human rights, even prisoners.

“The government took away prisoners right to vote last year with the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Act in an appeal to their redneck reactionary voting block.

“It is in contrast to the practice in most other democracies and now as the Human Rights Commission is pointing out counter-productive.”

Ms Sykes says if we dehumanize prisoners, then there can be no surprises when they are released and commit acts that dehumanize others.

“Research from around the world shows that if you protect prisoner human rights, there are more positive outcomes, sadly this Government are more focused at playing to the lynch mob.”

Ms Sykes says National in changing the law last year to deny the vote to all sentenced prisoners, not just those serving life sentences or terms of 3 years or more as was the previous case, was motivated by its own political needs.

“People in prison are certainly less likely to support their ‘lock them up and throw away the keys’ type policies, such as the three strikes law, and we know that a number of the county’s prisons are in marginal electorates ”

Ms Sykes says basic rights such as those highlighted by the Commission should not be sacrificed for a right wing party’s political ends.

Reference: http://www.hrc.co.nz/news-and-issues/human-rights-in-new-zealand/human-rights-values-key-to-prisoner-rehabilitation/

ENDS

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