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Restorative justice package announced


11 June 2000

Restorative justice package announced

Courts Minister Matt Robson and Justice Minister Phil Goff today announced funding for a package of measures that will give more victims of crime the option of restorative justice.

The Restorative Justice package provides funding of $4.857 million over three years to introduce new court-referred restorative justice pilot projects, and expand current community-managed restorative justice projects.

"Restorative Justice puts victims of crime at the centre of the justice system. Victim's needs are paramount, and offenders face the full consequences of their crime and its effect on a victim," say Phil Goff and Matt Robson.

"Putting an offender face to face with their victim so they see and hear the hurt they've caused, is a more effective wake up call than just putting an offender in the dock to glare across a court room. Restorative justice is our best chance at changing criminal behaviour. That's how we'll build stable communities and reduce the fear of crime,” says Matt Robson.

“The new court-referred restorative justice pilot will be introduced into three new courts, and will focus on alternatives for more serious offenders who require close oversight from the Court.

“We'll be able to cater for around 1200 cases a year, which means hundreds of victims of crime will get the opportunity to choose to participate in the justice process and around 1200 offenders will have to confront their offending and make good on the effects of their offending. This is a very different approach to the traditional retributive system of justice managed by the courts,” says Matt Robson.

Phil Goff says the expanded community-managed restorative justice project would see five additional programmes in 2000/01 and one further in 2000/02. Priority will be given to developing Maori and Pacific community-focussed programmes.

“The $3.582 million three year court-referred restorative justice pilot, and the $1.275 million three year expanded community-managed restorative justice projects, will be monitored and evaluated in terms of the benefits they bring to victims and their effectiveness in reducing re-offending,” says Phil Goff.

ENDS

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