The Case Against Prisons

In a recent NZ Herald interview, Minister of Justice Andrew Little argued that New Zealand’s criminal justice processes are not working. The approach of locking up ever-increasing numbers of people hasn’t made our communities any safer, and evidence shows that some of our policies are in fact harming our communities in the long term. His comments come at a time when the Government is actively considering the expansion of New Zealand’s prison estate through a new facility in Waikeria. Continue reading

How inclusive is Aotearoa's criminal justice system?: An insight into LGBTQIA+ issues in our prisons

Kia ora koutou, I’m Steph, a current intern at JustSpeak. I thought it would be beneficial to highlight some of the issues LGBTQIA+ (particularly transgender and intersex) folks face within Aotearoa’s criminal justice system, with a view to direct people to some useful resources. Continue reading

Moana Jackson talk - "Why did Māori never have prisons?

Moana Jackson is a prominent constitutional lawyer and Māori and indigenous expert. In this talk he explores the question "why did Māori never have prisons? ", drawing on his decades of research and advocacy around Māori and the New Zealand justice system.   Continue reading

Invisible Sentences

Rachel spent a week interning with JustSpeak in early October learning about criminal justice issues in New Zealand, and reflecting on the how systems in New Zealand the United States perpetuate racialised inequity and the erosion of strong and healthy communities. Continue reading

#ajustvote Election Scorecards

Following our election forums, here at JustSpeak we have put each party’s criminal justice policies to the test using our 2017 Election Priorities. Check out the results below. Continue reading

How my high school Principal's racism gave me a second chance

“You’re just a f*cking racist bitch! This is what I yelled at my school principal in week three of my starting high school. I got in trouble, pretty serious trouble. I assaulted someone, in my school uniform, in a public place. Continue reading

The Results Are In! Election Forum Scorecard details

The results are in! The audiences from our recent Election Forums have given their assessments on the criminal justice priorities of each political party. Continue reading

Whiti Te Rā - a call to action

JustSpeak and Mahi Tahi Akoranga Trust came together to organise a Kaupapa Māori hui on transformative change in criminal justice which took place in mid-July this year. I was fortunate enough to attend this, and along with fellow JustSpeak volunteers we excitedly travelled up to Rotorua for the two-day event. Continue reading

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

Part two - Adolescent criminal law   One of the things that surprised me the most when I started at JustSpeak was hearing about their successful campaign to remove most 17 year olds from the adult justice system. It was such a surprise that this even needed to be campaigned for when in The Netherlands we have an adolescent criminal law that can apply up to the age of 23. Internationally, New Zealand is one of the last jurisdictions in the OECD to implement the change to include 17 years olds in youth court. Continue reading

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