Letter to the Editor: Dutton spreading pre-election fear

DEAR News Of The Area,

OPPOSITION leader Peter Dutton has been making a lot of noise recently about Rule 99 and Minister Andrew Giles “releasing murderers and rapists” into the community.

Briefly, Rule 99 was introduced by Labor two years ago to help resolve a long standing point of contention with New Zealand.

For the last twelve years if a non-citizen was convicted of a crime, and sentenced to a jail term of twelve months or more, they have been deported at the end of their sentence.

Often, they are held in indefinite detention after their jail term while they wait to be deported.

A punishment beyond the extent of the criminal justice system made by the executive.

Good riddance, one may think.

But people were being deported to countries that they had left when they were two years old.

Countries they often had no connection to and, sometimes, did not even speak the language.

Many of these people have partners and children.

Rule 99 was introduced to review these cases and to consider the length of time that the person had spent in Australia and their connections here.

That is, did growing up in Australia shape them into the people they became?

Last year the High Court ruled that the indefinite detention of people was illegal and a number of people had to be released, around 150 or so.

All of these people, if they had been convicted of serious crimes, had served their sentences.

Did these people pose a threat to community safety as claimed by the Opposition?

Well, no more than that posed by the more than 180 released every day from Australian prisons.

Peter Dutton is campaigning for the next Federal election on a ticket of fear and misdirection.

First he has to find someone to blame (not himself, obviously).

Migrants and refugees, asylum seekers and criminals are a reliable soft target.

It is time Mr Dutton put on his big-boy pants and accepted that we must take responsibility for people who grow up here.

If people do bad things they will be punished by the Criminal Justice system.

But there is a serious failure in the prison system if more than 50 percent of released prisoners return to prison within two years.

As reported on Four Corners, the amount of money we are prepared to spend on keeping people out of prison is tiny compared to what we spend to keep them in prison.

Our priorities are misdirected and we all pay for it.

Peter SOBEY,

One thought on “Letter to the Editor: Dutton spreading pre-election fear

  1. Oh yeh just let these serious criminals go into the community and re- affend, exactly what has happened. They are kept in prison for a reason and they keep using our stupid appeals system at the cost of taxpayers too stay in this country.

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