New Zealand: Church leaders call for review of criminal justice system
From the article by the Episcopal News Service:
Anglican church leaders in New Zealand are urging politicians to set up a special commission to investigate the country's criminal justice system.
The move follows a remark by the Deputy Prime Minister Bill English that "prisons are a fiscal and moral failure."
Archbishops David Moxon and Brown Turei – along with the Anglican Social Justice Commissioner, the Rev. Anthony Dancer – fully agree with English's view.
They suggest politicians can build on English's remarks by: setting up a criminal justice commission to provide independent advice to the government; taking a non-political, bi-partisan approach to those issues; and systematically investigating alternatives to jail, such as restorative justice.
Restorative justice for teens charged in jetski death
from the article in the New Zealand Herald:
Family of Bishop Thompson, the teenager killed in a jetski accident near Rotorua in January, told a judge they never wanted to see the matter taken to court.
Speaking at the invitation of Judge Chris McGuire in the Rotorua District Court this morning, family spokesman Mana Witoko said it supported the plan to have the two youths charged in connection with the death take part in a restorative justice programme.
The power of penal populism in New Zealand from 1999 to 2008
This thesis explains the rise and power of penal populism in contemporary New Zealand society. It argues that the rise of penal populism can be attributed to social, economic and political changes that have taken place in New Zealand since the postwar years. These changes undermined the prevailing penalwelfare logic that had dominated policymaking in this area since 1945.
It examines the way in which ‘the public’ became more involved in the administration of penal policy from 1999 to 2008. The credibility given to a law and order referendum in 1999, which drew attention to crime victims and ‘tough on crime’ discourse, exemplified their new role. In its aftermath, greater influence was given to the public and groups speaking on its behalf.
TV captures killer driver's remorse
A trail-breaking television documentary featuring an emotionally harrowing face-to-face meeting between killer driver Kristy King and one of her victim's families will have a strong Tauranga connection.
Tauranga restorative justice facilitators Tim Clarke and Sharon Stewart play a pivotal role in the conference which screens tomorrow on TV2's 20/20 programme.
A documentary team were there to film the raw emotions of the conference which preceded King's sentencing last month on three charges of careless driving causing death.
Mangakino awarded $30,000 after restorative justice process
From the article on Environment Waikato:
The Mangakino community is to receive $30,000 towards community projects from Taupo District Council (TDC) as part of a restorative justice ruling handed down last week by the Tokoroa District Court over illegal sewage dumping.
After a prosecution initiated by Environment Waikato, TDC pleaded guilty to illegally dumping sewage sludge at sites around the town in 2008. The discharges by TDC followed a series of problems with Mangakino’s sewage system.
EW consented to a restorative justice process that involved a meeting in Mangakino to work out how a suggested $27,000 fine could be put back into the local community.
The story of a wounded healer
From the article by Jackie Katounas in Issue 79 of the Rethinking Crime and Punishment Newsletter:
For the best part of 25 years I was a career criminal, and often a prisoner - with little insight into the effects of my offending and limited respect for myself or others.
I am not an academic and I have had limited tertiary education. Instead my training and credibility has grown out of the harshness of my own life experiences.
News about abusive texts stuns parents of dead girl
The parents of a 15-year-old girl walked out of court yesterday when they learned that their daughter's lover stood by and watched his wife send abusive texts to her.
The girl killed herself days later.
In the Rotorua District Court, Pelesasa Tiumalu, 28, was jailed for four years and three months for having sex with an underage girl.
Editorial: Remarkable result
On the face of it, a new approach by the St Thomas of Canterbury school to misbehaviour by students has been an extraordinary success.
Since replacing its pastoral care behaviour management system with a restorative justice programme, the number of suspensions and expulsions the school has made have plummeted.
Lessons in transformation: "You gotta smile at the little f…ers"
By KIm Workman
Last night, Maori Television screened the first of a two part programme dealing with the issue of family violence and child abuse. ‘Tamariki Ora - A New Beginning’ was a defining moment for Maori. It showed Maori men acknowledging that the abuse they received as children, turned them into abusers of their own children. But it also showed the extent to which whanau (families) are acknowledging the issues, forging their own solutions, and actively working within their whanau and the community to encourage positive, loving relationships.
I recall in my own marae (*meeting house) , less than 20 years ago, female elders defending a male elder who had sexually abused a visiting school child, as being a practise that was culturally acceptable in traditional times. We all knew that was nonsense, but no one had the guts to face the issue head on. Those days are now well and truly gone.
I wept tears at the programme – but they were tears of joy. From this day on, no one will ever be able to say that Maori are failing to take responsibility for their own behaviour.
Grubby white collar crime: Life without an ethical framework
The New Zealand media has been awash over the last few days, with news about the unauthorised credit card purchases by former Ministers of the Crown, including purchases for flowers, massages, and a set of golf clubs. While they have all paid the money back, it was a clear breach of parliamentary service rules. It is a practise that in the business sector would result in withdrawal of credit privileges, and possible dismissal.
Former Cabinet Minister Shane Jones, although not the biggest spender, publicly confessed to hiring around 50 porno movies while staying at hotels, and has come in for special media treatment. His wife and family are furious with him, and those of us who regard him as potentially a significant Maori political statesman, are by turns, angry with him, and saddened. I spoke with Shane yesterday at the airport, and we shared about the cathartic nature of confession, and its spiritual value.