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escalating violence in our community
Become a member of the
Sensible Sentencing Trust
Here we have a selection of the questions that people often have about Sensible Sentencing Trust and what we do. As we get more questions (and answers) we will expand this page!
What can I expect when I call the 0900 number?
The process is that at the end of the prerecorded message on the 0900 number the call then goes to voicemail and the caller is prompted to leave a message - usually this is for their membership details, unless we are running a special collection for a victims family or for a reward for information as we did in the Jack Nicholas case recently. Twenty dollars is then charged to your account, either for your membership donation or for whatever special collection that may be running at the time.
The ladies in the office will then listen to all the messages collected from the 900 number, and note the details of those that are for memberships. The rest will then assumed to be for whatever special campaigns or collections we have running at that time, and the appropriate amount of money is then transferred from our main account into the appropriate fund. In effect ANY call to the 900 number that does not result in the caller leaving a message with membership details will be assumed to be a donation to whatever other collection we have running at that time. There is no possibility of your being joined up to the Trust if that is not your intention.
If you are calling the 0900 number to join up, you will be asked to leave your name number and address details on a message (at the end of our recording) so that we can send out a membership pack including a bumper sticker and a fridge magnet to you.
What if I want to donate more than twenty dollars?
If you wish to donate more over and above the twenty dollars then you can either use the membership form and send a cheque or money order with it, or alternatively you can deposit a donation directly at any Westpac branch to the account of the "Sensible Sentencing Trust", account number 03 0698 0096242 000 at any Westpac Branch or online. Please put your surname, initials and what town you are from! This helps the people in the office match your membership form with your payment!.
How is the Trust funded?
It is mostly funded from the memberships and donations made by individual members. However we do have some significant sponsors who help us out, they are listed here. The Geo Corporation is not one of them, despite rumours that have been circulating! We run on a very tight budget, as no-one in the Trust is actually paid - all work is done on a voluntary basis.
Is this group affiliated with ACT or any other political party?
No, Sensible Sentencing is an apolitical organisation, we do not align ourselves with any particular political party or ideology, instead we seek to persuade politicians of all stripes to support our goals. We gave Labour a hard time whn they were in power, but we will be equally hard on National should they fall short in balancing the scales of justice so that victims get a better deal.
Do you support the death penalty?
Sensible Sentencing does not take a position on this issue as such as we feel that it should be decided by referendum. See our policy statement on this issue.
What about rehabilitation and restorative justice?
We do believe that there is a place for both rehabilitation and restorative justice within our justice system, however there is a proportion of offenders for whom it is wasted. Rehabilitation efforts in our view are best concentrated on first and second offenders for whom there is more real hope for change. Restorative Justice too has its place, provided the victim is calling the shots. See our policy statement here on restorative justice.
Do you deal with fraud, dishonesty and other forms of non violent/sexual crime?
No, not directly, our focus is primarily on violent and/or sexual crime. We do not directly address other forms of crime, if we did so we would be spreading ourselves too thin and dilute our effectiveness. We need to concentrate on our core message in order to effect change. We are aware however that many offenders with a history of violent/sexual offending also have a history of other types of crime, and many violent/sexual offenders' criminal history starts with non-violent/sexual offending such as burglary, theft and tagging.
So what have you achieved to date?
Quite a lot - see list here - but we are only too keenly aware that we have only scratched the surface and there is a huge amount yet to be done.
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