Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


New approach to criminal justice will make communities safer

The Public Service Association welcomes the announcement of a new strategic direction for the justice system, but says union members want to be properly included in designing the system they will eventually implement.

The union for prison and probation officers, Ministry of Justice staff, social workers and mental health professionals says a renewed emphasis on rehabilitation and treatment signals a long overdue departure from failed punitive policies.

"We need to deal with the realities and root causes of crime and the racism in our current system. This means confronting the shameful fact that New Zealand has one of the highest percentages of its population behind bars in the developed world, with Māori over represented in particular," says PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay.

"Poverty, alienation, drug addiction and the mental health crisis all feed into these grim statistics, and we strongly support the government’s commitment to a fresh approach. People need more support before, during and after being incarcerated to help them stop re-offending and find work and housing."

The two reports released today by Justice Minister Andrew Little are based on extensive engagement with a range of New Zealand communities, and propose independent mechanisms to allow for Māori leadership in tackling the disproportionate number of Māori serving prison sentences.

Despite this engagement, however, there is little attention given in the reports to the needs and perspectives of workers employed in the criminal justice system. The PSA calls for this to change, and in particular for Māori workers to be included moving forward.

"Locking people up and throwing away the key simply does not work. It doesn’t deter criminals and it doesn’t reduce offending. It has massive impacts on families that flow through generations," says Mr Barclay.

"Instead our prisons are overcrowded and their resources are stretched thin, putting both corrections staff and inmates in danger. If the government wants these reforms to succeed, they need to listen to what workers have to say and give them an increased role in both design and delivery."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell : On Dealing With Impeccable, Impeachable Lies

By now, the end game the Republican Senate majority has in mind in their setting of the rules for the impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump is pretty clear to everyone: first deny the Democrats the ability to call witnesses and offer evidence, and then derisively dismiss the charges for lack of evidence. For his part, does former security adviser John Bolton really, really want to testify against his former boss? If there was any competing faction within the Republican Party, there might be some point for Bolton in doing so – but there isn’t. More>>

Published on Werewolf


WINZ Quarterly Report: More People Getting Into Work

The December quarter benefit numbers released today show the Government’s plan to get people off the benefit and into work is starting to pay off,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said. More>>


Changing lives: Boost In Whānau Ora Funding

Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today. More>>


PGF Kaikōura $10.88M: Boost In Tourism & Business

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. More>>


Whitebaiting: Govt Plans To Protect Announced

With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. More>>


Education: Resource For Schools On Climate Change

New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change... More>>


In Effect April: New Regulations For Local Medicinal Cannabis

Minister of Health Dr David Clark says new regulations will allow local cultivation and manufacture of medicinal cannabis products that will potentially help ease the pain of thousands of people. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On What An Inquiry Might Look Like

Presumably, if there is to be a ministerial inquiry (at the very least) into the Whakaari/White Island disaster, it will need to be a joint ministerial inquiry. That’s because the relevant areas of responsibility seem to be so deeply interwoven... More>>






InfoPages News Channels