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Full Restitution Bill Proposed

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Our Free Land is a recently formed lobby group, whose vision is to, "empower the people of New Zealand so that Parliament becomes the servant and not the master of the free population of our country." I like that goal and so far, from what I've seen of their policies, they are definitely on the right track. You can visit their website here, www.ourfreeland.co.nz. Here is some information on their proposed Full Restitution Bill, which would be a huge improvement to New Zealand's justice system.

Bill #5: Small time criminals involved in welfare fraud or identity theft or those who have gained money or goods by dishonest means must make full restitution within 3 months of conviction.

Criminals who steal and use other peoples credit cards, cheque books or personal belongings must make full restitution within 3 months once convicted or they are sent to work full time together with those convicted of crimes worthy of a prison sentence.

After they have paid off their debt they may return to their former employment or continue working as do those who get the dole (see below).

For far too long small time crooks, after conviction, still been able to get away with refusing to pay their court-ordered fines or the restitution owing to individuals. We have large numbers of people who after years of waiting have still not been paid the money owed to them.

With this Bill Proposal we are not addressing large scale payments still owing. Rather, it is the small amounts that could be worked off in a matter of weeks or months that we want to deal with here.

When small-time criminals feel that the Justice System of our country has no teeth, they correctly get the impression that they can continue to get away with this kind of activity with impunity.

That all stops with the introduction of this Bill. No longer will the Justice System of NZ be the farce it is seen to be by many (both the criminal element and those who were their victims).

To make sure payment occurs, all restitution must go through a central tracking system before being sent out to those to whom it belongs. This way the onus is no longer on the victim to have to extract the money from the criminal - it has passed to the Courts and Police to make it happen.

For too long victims of this type of crime have not received the justice due to them. It is time to make amends and put it right.

It is a step in the right direction, but it doesn't go far enough. The particular brand of criminals being dealt with here should be made to pay back three times the amount that they have damaged/stolen. Also, prisons should not be run at the expense of the tax-payer. We should privatise prisons, with the possibility of some even turning into profitable ventures. Prisoners should no longer fill their days with idleness and boredom, but should instead be instilled with a sense of duty and purpose by making them pay their way throughout their imprisonment.  Full restitution should be seen as just as important as rehabilitation.

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