Friday, April 26, 2024

David Farrar: Three Strikes saw lower reoffending

Graeme Edgeler wrote in 2017:

In the first five years after three strikes came into effect 5248 offenders received a ‘first strike’ (that is, a “stage-1 conviction” under the three strikes sentencing regime), and 68 offenders received a ‘second strike’.

In the five years prior to three strikes, 5517 people were convicted of an offence where that conviction would have been a ‘first strike’ had three strikes been in force at the time, and 103 were convicted of an offence that would have been a ‘second strike’.

In addition, no-one was convicted of a third strikes in three strikes’ first five years, while four people were convicted of what would have been third strikes in the preceding five years, and two of them also racked up what would have been fourth strikes.

So the number of second strikes fell from 103 to 68 and third strikes from six (or four) to zero.

You can argue about whether or not this was due to the three strikes law. Maybe it was chance. But it is solid evidence that there was less reoffending in the first five years of Three Strikes.

Now you might say, well what about since 2017. That is a good point. I’d love to see data comparing the number of recividist strike offences for the ten years after Three Strikes and the ten years before. The longer the time frame, the better the comparison.

But the Ministry of Justice has refused to release any further numbers. They have said it is too complex, even though they have done it before. My suspicion is they don’t want the data released, as it goes against their ideological beliefs.

A useful thing for the new Ministers would be to demand updated data to 2022, using the exact same criteria as Edgeler used. Then the debate over Three Strikes would be more informed, and people wouldn’t be able to say there is no evidence Three Strikes work. Because during the first five years of Three Strikes, second strikes were 34% lower than the previous five years.

David Farrar runs Curia Market Research, a specialist opinion polling and research agency, and the popular Kiwiblog where this article was sourced. He previously worked in the Parliament for eight years, serving two National Party Prime Ministers and three Opposition Leaders.

1 comment:

Basil Walker said...

Quite simple . If a Ministry of Justice emplyee or salaried staff refuse taxpayers or businesses or corporations the information requested then do not come to work on Monday BE GONE WITH THEM.

Why on earth do government servant's think their presence at work is anything other than at taxpayers limited gratitude and expense .

The Minstry of Justice employes should spend an hour in the life of a rape, murder, assault, ram raid burglary victim and then say detailed assistance and data in not important .