$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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