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Budget ‘a small step in the right direction’ – JustSpeak

17th May 2013

Budget ‘a small step in the right direction’ – JustSpeak

JustSpeak welcomes the increase in funding to restorative justice services and support for prisoners leaving prison as a small step in the right direction.

“We support restorative justice as a more meaningful and less polarised way of addressing the needs and circumstances of all parties involved in the criminal justice system,” says spokesperson Lydia Nobbs.

It is crucial to ensure prisoners have support within their communities upon leaving prison. The role of whanau and community support in all its forms is essential in both preventing crime and ensuring offenders successfully reintegrate back into society. JustSpeak would like to see this support available for those prisoners serving sentences of greater than two years as well.

However JustSpeak is concerned about cuts to the Public Defence Service and Victims Support Services. We are worried about what this might mean for the individuals involved in the criminal justice system.

“We have seen a progressive cut back on the support for legal aid over several years, which can have a detrimental effect in terms of who has access to justice,” says spokesperson, Lydia Nobbs.

“It is vital that the criminal justice system works in tandem with victims to ensure their voice is heard and needs addressed, which does not always happen in formal criminal justice processes.”

JustSpeak supports the investment in reducing reoffending as we know that prisons are expensive for the government’s books in the long-run. However, it would be great to see the government committing to reducing imprisonment rates more generally, and making the connection between a less punitive justice system and a safer New Zealand for everyone.

JustSpeak will be following the development of these cuts and increases closely, and look forward to seeing the government working with the communities, iwi and individuals involved.

About JustSpeak
JustSpeak is a non-partisan network of young people speaking to, and speaking up for a new generation of thinkers who want change in our criminal justice system.

We empower young people to have a voice in the criminal justice conversation.

We cultivate transparent, open, evidence and experience based public discourse on criminal justice.

We advocate for positive and visionary reform in the criminal justice system.

ENDS

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