Legislators have "immunised" themselves from responsibility and set public safety as a "distant and detached consideration" when rehabilitating violent offenders, says Sensible Sentencing Trust founder Garth McVicar.
Garth McVicar from the Sensible Sentencing Trust
Mr McVicar, whose trust supports the victims of serious crime, backed the family of murdered woman Blessie Gotingco in their bid to sue the Department of Corrections.
Antonio Gotingco, the husband of the Auckland mother-of-three, penned an open letter to the "good people of New Zealand" last Friday asking for financial help for a civil case against Corrections.
"We are going to undertake our own review of the mismanagement/non-monitoring of 'evil' which enabled him to take our Blessie," he wrote.
To date more than $126,000 has been raised for the "Justice for Blessie" campaign, after a Government inquiry found the the 56-year-old's murder at the hands of Tony Robertson in May 2014 was no fault of Corrections.
However, Mr McVicar told ONE News departments or individuals are rarely the root cause.
Blessie Gotingco's family is preparing to sue Corrections for the "mismanagement of evil" which it says led to her murder.
"The problem is legislation is overly focused on rehabilitation as opposed to public safety.
"This Government and preceding governments have gradually implemented legislation that has, as its primary focus, rehabilitating the offender and getting them out of prison at the earliest possible opportunity - public safety has become very much a distant and detached consideration."
He understood Mr Gotingco and his family's frustration and anger and supported their decision to pursue legal action, adding it was now their only option.
"Do we believe it is the best way to go? The ultimate blame lies with the legislators but they have immunised themselves from being held to account so legal action against Corrections is the only route open to the family.
"We agree that Blessie's death could have been prevented if Robertson had been monitored more closely, but the departments concerned actually did all they could under the legislation they are forced to comply with."
It was revealed after the trial that Robertson was on parole after serving eight years for sexually assaulting a five-year-old girl.
The SST said in response to the inquiry investigating Corrections' actions prior to the murder that, legislation has "effectively tied the inquiry's hands" while the investigation was also given a "very tight time frame" to gather evidence.
He said the inquiry exonerated the legislators and minimised "exposure of the root cause of the real problem ... the ideology that has set Robertson and many others up to kill".
"As I said at the time the comments from Corrections [were] really a cry for help ... they know they cannot prevent such tragedies given the severe restraints they are required to comply with."
Findings from the inquiry, released last week, made 27 recommendations for improving management of high-risk offenders.
Robertson is currently serving a life sentence for murder and rape.