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Conferences continue to empower victims

Hon Judith Collins
Minister of Justice

3 April 2014

Conferences continue to empower victims

Restorative justice conferences continue to have a positive impact on reducing crime and empowering victims, Justice Minister Judith Collins says.

Research released today by the Ministry of Justice shows recidivism rates by offenders who went through the restorative justice process are 12 per cent lower compared to similar offenders who did not participate.

“As well as reducing crime, restorative justice continues to play an important role in empowering victims,” Ms Collins says.

“The conferences, which have been rolled out to every New Zealand District Court, provide victims with a safe environment where they can directly voice their experience as a victim and give offenders the chance to take personal responsibility for their actions.”

Last year the Government announced an additional 2,400 restorative justice conferences – totalling 3,600 in 2014/15 – as part of Budget 2013’s $4.4 million investment in adult pre-sentence restorative justice.

It’s estimated that the 1,569 restorative justice conferences held during 2011 and 2012 will lead to 1,100 fewer offences being committed and 650 fewer prosecutions being required over the following three years.

Ms Collins says investing in restorative justice will help deliver less crime, give victims a voice in the justice system and make victims stronger.

Restorative justice conferences only take place with the consent of both the victim and the offender and are alongside a trained facilitator. They are part of a wider pool of justice initiatives to reduce victimisation including Safe@Home, alcohol and drug treatment courts, and domestic violence programmes.

The report is available at: http://www.justice.govt.nz/publications/global-publications/r/reoffending-analysis-for-rj-cases-2008-11/

ENDS

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