Briefing paper

Refining criminal justice outcomes: an evidence-based programme for reform

Part 3 of a briefing note series
Criminal justice Recidivism Crime prevention New Zealand

This concluding Briefing Paper on criminal justice reform draws together the findings of the previous two papers published since August. In the previous papers, a holistic account of a range of crime drivers integrating personal, societal, and procedural components was provided. In this paper, the author shows how these components indicate certain optimistic lines of policy development.


  1. Improving court processes
    • Increase holistic criminology knowledge among court officers through a series of seminars with a professional accreditation process.
    • Research and explore more creative sentencing options including supplementing punishment with desistance-oriented programmes, resulting in guidebooks for sentencing agencies.
    • Better legal representation for dependants by reviewing legal aid and funding for community law centres (Ideally, more and better quality legal representation is required).
  2. Refining reintegration programmes
    • Develop and implement a casework approach to offender management, including the production of guide books and a training programme.
    • Bring together relevant stakeholders to produce and review culturally-specific programmes.
    • Draw together regional- and iwi-specific contribution in programme design and delivery in a national corrections forum
    • Develop and implement programmes that address correlational dimensions of crime
    • Improve and fund holistic post-sentence programmes
  3. Community development
    • Rapid expansion of victim support services, expansion of funding for research into victimology, and public education campaigns to promote better understandings of victims’ needs and how these should be delivered.
    • Cross-government strategy to address poverty and economic stagnation at the regional and community levels rather than only at the demographic level (ie. community poverty reduction rather than child poverty reduction).
    • The development of economic proposals to regenerate the regions that have experienced economic stagnation over many decades.



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