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									Restorative Justice
  the New Zealand picture
Restorative Justice
  the New Zealand picture

       Julia Hennessy
       Senior Policy Advisor

      Restorative Justice Unit
  Ministry of Justice, New Zealand
The restorative justice landscape
RJ in the adult criminal justice system
  – 30 community-based providers – Crime Prevention Unit
    and Courts contracts
  – Community panels
  – Victim-offender conferences
  – and variations

Community-based RJ providers
  – not staff of justice agencies
  – Mostly small Charitable Trusts
  – Maori organisations – Iwi (tribe) organisations – may
    provide a range of services, including health and health
    promotion, education etc
Legislative framework
  – Sentencing Act 2002 allows, and requires, Judges to
    take RJ outcomes into account
  – Parole Act 2002, RJ to be taken into account in
    decisions about parole of prisoners
  – Victims Rights Act 2002, agencies to hold meetings
    between victims and offenders - where parties wish to
    meet and resources are available
  – Corrections Act 2004, Parole Board to take RJ process
    into account when making decisions on release of
Principles of Best Practice for Restorative
Justice in Criminal Cases

  Published along with statement of values 2003

  1. Voluntary
  2. Full participation of the victim & offender
  3. Participants are well-informed
  4. Offender held accountable
  5. Flexibility and responsiveness
  6. Emotional and physical safety
  7. Effective process
  8. Should only be undertaken in appropriate cases
Court-referred restorative justice pilot
        RJ for serious offences by adults
Began September 2001

Moderately serious offences
   –   Max penalty 2 yrs imprisonment – or more
   –   Nothing that can be diverted
   –   Excluded Family Violence, Sexual Offences

4 District Courts
   –   Chosen for volume, judicial attitude, cultural mix
      Court-referred restorative justice pilot process
                           Offender pleads guilty

Offender sentenced         Judge refers for restorative        Judge adjourns for reports
                             justice (& other reports)            (probation/ psych)

                           Court Coordinator assesses               Restorative justice
                          offender – willingness, capability          not possible

                             2 facilitators meet victim              Returned to Court
                                      & offender

                                                                    Victim / offender
                                Restorative justice
Judge adjourns for                                                    unwilling or
                                 conference held
completion of plan                                                     unsuitable

     Report to Court on         Offender sentenced

Increased victim involvement

Increased victim satisfaction

   Reduced re-offending
Results for victims

 • Positive experience

 • Would recommend to others

 • Would participate again

 • Satisfied with agreements, conferences and

 • Low uptake by victims
    < 40% referrals went to conference
 Victim satisfaction declined over time
Results for offenders
   •   reduced reconviction
       32% compared with 36%

   •   more involved in addressing offending
   •   satisfied with process & agreements

   • reduced imprisonment
     14% compared with 19%

   • reduced length of imprisonment
     444 days compared with 533 days
Effective interventions
Prison population - the defined problem

  inmate population significantly exceeds forecasts
  March 2006 - New Zealand >7,000 in prison
  by 2010 will be 9,000
  New Zealand will have 2nd highest rate of imprisonment
   in western world

 Exceeding capacity & forecasts

 Recorded crime has shown a steady decrease over two
• 17% of population

• 51% of prison population
• 3 times more likely than non-Māori to be arrested for
  criminal offence
• more likely to be prosecuted, convicted and receive
  prison sentences
• 1/3 more likely to be victim of crime

• twice as likely to be victims of violence

• higher rate of domestic violence
Pacific Island peoples
• 8 % of population

• 11% of prison population

• over-represented in violent offending statistics
• higher risk of being victims of violence than any
   other ethnic group
Effective interventions project

• Justice sector agencies – Police, Justice, Corrections (ie,
  probation and prisons), Social Development, Treasury:
     strategies to manage the inmate population
     options to reduce the pressure on prisons
     initiatives to address causes of crime and offending
The evidence base
Evidence from court-referred restorative justice pilot
 Fewer and shorter sentences compared with matched
 Offenders more likely to be granted leave to apply for
  home detention
 Small reduction in re-offending - measured over 2 years
 Shorter prison sentences – 444 days compared with 533
The next step – national
expansion of restorative justice
The next step
1. restorative justice available nationally at 3 key points
2. replicate results of court-referred restorative justice –
   less use of imprisonment, reduction in re-offending
3. ensure quality of restorative justice provision

Budget bid 2007/08
• National quality assurance framework – initial work
• Diversion
• Pre-sentence
• Prisoner reintegration
Performance framework

• Quality of RJ provision – outcome focused
• Regional support structures and staff
• Build providers’ capacity and capability - to meet
  identified need
• Provide resources to enable providers to meet quality
  standards – includes national training and assessment
• Standards - contracts

 To ensure consistent high-quality outcomes from
           restorative justice processes
Extension of RJ in diversion

Restorative justice as option in Police Adult Diversion
    • new provision in 20+ areas – over 3 yrs
    • 1st focus – high Maori & PI offender areas
    • Evaluation
        • re-offending
        • outcomes for Maori and PI
Extension of RJ pre-sentence – serious offences
Restorative justice pre-sentence service in serious offending
    • New provision in up to 9 new areas – over 3 yrs
    • Guilty plea, victim involvement required
    • Evaluation – can we repeat results of pilot?
        • re-offending
        • outcomes for Maori and PI
RJ in reintegration

• 100+ RJ conferences annually from 2 prison regions
• RJ Coordinators based in prison reintegration team
• RJ process spot-purchased from community-based
  providers – quality standards
• 3 years initially – staged rollout if successful re victim
  satisfaction & reduced re-offending
Cost benefits

• Prison beds:
   – 25 beds annually at $70,000 pa – total saving of
     $175,000 annually

• Increased number of offenders given leave to apply for
  home detention
   – Suggests increased use of home detention as a

• Other $$ savings small
 Other benefits

• Increased capacity and capability of local RJ providers

• Benefits for Maori and Pacific Island people

• Victims and offenders have increased access to
  restorative justice at all stages in the criminal justice

    While the new developments have been driven by
 financial and other pressure on the prison system, the
benefits will be felt by victims, the families of offenders,
           and all those affected by offending.
The new landscape
• 60+ community-based RJ providers – 3 years

• Local interagency advisory groups to ensure provision
  continues to meet needs

• National training and assessment of practitioners
• Monitoring and support of quality standards by Ministry of
• RJ Unit – Ministry of Justice – national and field roles

• RJ Centre – Auckland University of Technology – multi-
  disciplinary, tertiary centre for training, education and
  research into RJ theory and practice

• Restorative Justice Aotearoa – new national body for RJ

   how to be victim-centred in an offender-
                 focused system

how to create quality standards that allow for
       flexibility and growth of process

how to recognise and build on traditional Maori
     and PI processes – and allow flexibility

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