$100m has been lost in unpaid fines – but did taxpayers get community work work $100m in lieu?

January 8, 2015
And by the time we're done, we'll have a nice little cycle track running through here...

And by the time we’re done, we’ll have a nice little cycle track running through here…

Alf observes with some interest the practice of converting fines into community work.

The story is told today in the NZ Herald, which says:

District Court judges have converted almost $100 million worth of fines into community work in the past four years when offenders have been unable to pay what they owe, but the Ministry of Justice says it is committed to ensuring the punishment remains a “credible sanction”.

Figures released to the Herald under the Official Information Act show that between 2011 and 2014, 463,993 fines totalling $97,274,512 were converted to community work hours around New Zealand.

Those fines included court-imposed penalties and unpaid police and council infringement fees.

The number and total converted have steadily decreased over that time, going from 159,201 fines totalling $38,040,674 in 2011 to 66,863 totalling $11,575,106 in the first 10 months of 2014.

Fines are generally converted to community work only when all other enforcement options have been unsuccessful.

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Booze, beaches and brothers – a deadly concoction when you throw in stupidity and car-surfing

July 22, 2010

Alf is bothered by the ruling of a judge who has decided against sending an idiot to the slammer.

A judge says a man who killed his younger brother in a drunken car-surfing accident on Mt Maunganui beach would be behind bars if it was “someone else’s kid”.

Instead, Luke McGregor was sentenced yesterday to five months’ home detention after the accident that claimed the life of his brother Jordan.

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Putting the squeeze on boy racers

February 9, 2009

A nice piece in The Press today reinforces Alf’s concerns that boy racers are being treated much too leniently by our justice system. He’s all in favour of having the buggers strapped into their cars, then sending the cars to the crusher.

His thinking on this is reinforced by The Press’ s revelation that –

Boy racers are swapping thousands of dollars of fines for community work, with some receiving generous conversion rates of up to $100 for every hour worked.

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