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Inmate compensation plan abandoned

Friday 18 Jan 2013 7:47 a.m.

Prisoners will now have a chance to keep compensation for ill-treatment after the Government backtracked on a plan that would use the money to help victims.

Former Justice Minister Simon Power introduced a bill that would have paid into a general victims' fund the compensation money still spare after claims by their victims, legal aid costs and reparation were accounted for.

But his successor, Judith Collins, has backtracked, making permanent the current scheme, which would allow prisoners to keep the spare money.

"There was a concern that [the previous] bill may have gone too far and caused unintended injustices by preventing prisoners ever receiving compensation as a remedy for breaches of their rights," she told The New Zealand Herald.

Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesman Garth McVicar was disappointed with the decision, but Rethinking Crime and Punishment spokesman Kim Workman said the scheme still impinged too much on the rights of prisoners.

NZN

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