Treaty settlements process: Restorative justice in action
from the article on Te Puni Kokiri:
The Treaty of Waitangi settlements process is restorative justice in action says Māori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples.
Speaking at the launch of JustSpeak’s paper on Māori and the Criminal Justice System, he recalled the recent settlement of five Treaty of Waitangi claims.
Rena captain to residents: 'Sorry'
Rena's captain and navigational officer have visited Motiti Island to apologise to residents for grounding the cargo ship on Astrolabe Reef.
When Rena grounded on October 5 last year, Motiti Island was transformed from a pristine green paradise to an oil-soaked mess. Residents were shocked, saddened and angry.
Select committee urged to avoid courtroom 'Oprahfication'
from the article on Voxy.co.nz:
Rethinking Crime and Punishment agrees that victims should be able to provide information to the court about the effects of offending; and the harm they have suffered. However, it does not believe that the presentation of a victim impact statement in the Court, was the best way to achieve it.
Stalking accused trying to abuse system
A man described by police as "New Zealand's most dangerous stalker" has requested a restorative justice session with his latest alleged victim, though a judge has rejected it as a transparent attempt to "keep in touch".
Twenty years of restorative justice in New Zealand
from the article by Fred W.M. McElrea in Tikkun:
As I look back over the last twenty years, the following aspects of the family group conference system stand out as being both innovative and of potential value to adult systems as well:
Badlands or fairyland? How to misuse statistics and confuse the public
If Truth in Justice were to have an annual award in 12 months time for the most inaccurate, misleading and appalling publication on crime and punishment, it is unlikely that anything would surpass Badlands: NZ - A Land Fit for Criminals by David Fraser and published by Ian Wishart.
While we were reluctant to give it any more publicity, the book is a self-contained case study of what can happen when someone with a set ideological agenda sets out to prove their position through false logic and the misuse of statistics. It almost qualifies as a serious hazard to public safety.
We asked three people to review the book. Each has approached it from a different perspective.
Doing justice honourably
A crucial question in this election year is how do we do justice honourably with both victims and offenders? How can recidivism continue downwards and how do public attitudes change to being solidly evidence-based? How do we face the challenge of changing the justice landscape? Can we provide the moral courage to help our society take steps towards a more just and merciful society?
New Zealand: Rethinking contributes to Circles of Support and Accountability
Developed by a Mennonite community in Canada in the 1990's, COSA are groups of volunteers from the community into which the offender is released. They meet with a sex offender regularly, provide support for their reintegration and at the same time, hold them accountable for their actions. The volunteers receive extensive training and are fully informed of the offender's history, patterns of offending and the thoughts and behaviours that are likely to signal regression. The Circles begin working with the offender before they are released and are headed by a Circle Coordinator who is connected to other relevant agencies and professionals (e.g. probations, the police and clinicians) calling upon their support and advice as required.
Victim impact statements: Some concerns about current practice and proposed changes
Currently victims have the right to submit a VIS in a variety of ways, though it is usually in writing, and to request the opportunity to present the statement in open court. The judge has the discretion to deny this request and to edit the statement if there are concerns about its length or content. Under the new proposal, victims will have the right to use their own words in the VIS and “to address the offender so that the offender may better perceive the impact of the offence on the victim”. For serious offences (s.29 of the Victims Rights Act), victims will have an automatic right to present their VIS in court, though the judge retains the right to manage the process.
Twenty years of restorative justice in New Zealand: Reflections of a judicial participant
from the article by Judge Fred McElrea:
The following aspects of the family group conference system stand out after 20 years as being both innovative and of potential value to adult systems as well: