The best way to keep people safe is to stop crime happening in the first place. The justice system should focus on supporting victims and rehabilitating offenders to participate in their communities.
Victims of crime should be at the centre of restorative justice
- The first priority of the justice system should be to heal the harm caused by a crime.
- Funding for restorative justice and victim support should be increased.
- Communities should be actively involved to support victims of crime, help offenders take responsibility, right the wrong, and prevent further offending.
Prisons are a last resort because they’re expensive and often don’t work to reduce crime
- No new prisons should be built, except to replace old prisons.
- Judges should have a range of sentencing options available based on evidence of what works to reduce crime, including community-based sentences, Drug Court and Youth Court-style approaches, and options developed with iwi and hapu.
- Funding for literacy and work skills training, mental health services, and addiction services should be increased, both within prisons and in the community.
- Prisons should be run by the government, not private companies for profit.
- An Independent Prison Inspectorate should be established to ensure safe, secure, and humane conditions, including for youth, women, and LGBTQI people.
Women have a right to live free from violence
- The government should ensure there are comprehensive strategies in place to reduce sexual and domestic violence and support victims, including primary prevention strategies.
- Agencies that provide counselling, refuge, and other support services should be well funded and accessible to all people who need them.
- The safety and needs of victims should be prioritised in all sectors of the justice system.
Tikanga Maori approaches should be supported
- Marae-based justice programmes should be expanded and supported.
- Tikanga and te reo programmes should be available in all prisons and youth justice centres.
- Government should facilitate iwi and hapu involvement in sentencing, prison management, and rehabilitation.
Everyone has a right to access to justice and cost should not be a barrier
- Court proceedings should be conducted in plain language.
- Community law centres and trained advocates should be better funded, to provide increased geographical and specialist coverage.
- Māori, community, and environmental groups should be eligible for legal aid.
We can break the cycle of family violence
- The cost of obtaining a protection order should be reduced.
- Investment in primary prevention programmes should be increased, including non-violent conflict resolution education in schools and for adults.
Police should focus on serious crime and increasing community safety
- Police should work closely with community groups.
- The police complaints authority should be truly independent.