Through Dutch eyes: Mini blog series reflecting on differences between the NZ and Dutch criminal justice systems

Part One - Speed trials   As a Dutch person arriving to New Zealand what really struck me is that the prison rates are so high in a country with such a small population. The contrast between New Zealand and The Netherlands could hardly be more striking.   Continue reading

Voting is a right, not a privilege

Summary Last week, the Court of Appeal upheld a High Court decision that the ban on prisoner voting does not align with the principles of the Bill of Rights. Another decision is pending – the decision of whether or not the law behind the ban was passed lawfully. Continue reading

Budget 2017 - what's in it for justice?

Commentators have said that there wasn’t much in the budget on housing. I disagree. It was hidden, but there was an announcement of housing 1800 more people, and we’re not talking insecure housing here. This housing is certainly secure...   Continue reading

A determination to forge peace

Dr Kim Workman's speech at Massey Honorary Doctorate Graduation "Chancellor of the University, Vice-Chancellor, staff, graduates, whanau, ladies and gentlemen... Continue reading

Ready For Change: The stories that led me here

Recently I returned from Sydney where I was able to visit the One Life exhibition which documents the experiences of Australian women in the Criminal Justice System. These women were either ex-prisoners or advocates. Continue reading

Bailing out the Justice System: Reopening the Window of Opportunity

In 2013 criminal justice spending was falling and the Government was working out what to spend the money on. 3 years later there are 10,000 people in prison and a new billion dollar prison is announced. What happened? Continue reading

Poetry Slam from JustSpeak forum 'Prison: A Moral & Fiscal Failure?'

Check out Te Kahu Rolleston and Mary Rainsford performing their poetry at JustSpeak's forum 'Prison: A Moral & Fiscal Failure?' on 30 November 2016.  Continue reading

Playing the youth justice limbo - what’s the hold up?

“Being put through the adult justice system at 17 was terrifying, having never been arrested before. The weight of my sentencing really only held me back in life, and ultimately the system failed to do anything to help me move forward with life changes to help prevent reoffending.” - Edward Up in the air. On hold. In limbo. Nine months after announcing that they will consider raising the age of youth justice, the Government is yet to make a decision. Continue reading

They’re our future, not our future prisoners

PILLARS have launched their 5th annual Children of Prisoners Week with their Breakfast without Bars event. This year they are doing things differently. Their week-long campaign aims to raise the voices of children who are affected by parental incarceration. This year we are listening to our children and their needs. We need to unlock these children out of their silence and give them a voice to release their potential. Continue reading

What to do when your country is addicted to prison

In Aotearoa New Zealand we have a prison addiction. We are sending our people – and in particular our Māori and Pacific Island people – behind bars in greater and greater numbers. In the words of our Minister of Finance, Bill English, prison is a moral and fiscal failure. But in the five years since Bill English made this statement his colleagues still haven’t got the message. Continue reading