Restorative Justice (RJ) is now available at all District Courts in New Zealand.
The roll-out of expanded RJ services began on 1 October. It follows the Government’s $4.4 million investment in adult pre-sentence RJ as part of Budget 2013.
It will lead to a tripling of RJ conferences, which are targeted to total 3,600 in 2014/15. That is an increase of 2,400 conferences over the 1,200 held annually up to 1 October. Currently only 6% of eligible cases are referred.
Expansion of RJ comes in the wake of a series of key benefits identified by research. These include:
- 20% reduction in re-offending by those who participated. The frequency of offending for those who did re-offend dropped by nearly a quarter.1
- 77% of victims were satisfied with their overall experience, before, during and after the conference.2
- 74% of victims said they felt better after attending the conference.2
- 80% of victims said they would be likely to recommend RJ to others in a similar situation.2
Justice Minister Judith Collins has predicted that “expanding restorative justice services across New Zealand will help the justice sector meet the Government’s Better Public Services target of further reducing reoffending by 25% per cent by 2017. Already reoffending is down by over 9%.”
Restorative justice providers: www.justice.govt.nz/policy/criminal-justice/restorative-justice/restorative-justice-in-new-zealand
- Ministry of Justice Reoffending Analysis for Restorative Justice Cases
- Ministry of Justice Restorative Justice victim satisfaction survey 2011