Restorative Justice System In New Zealand Essay

1387 Words 6 Pages
Thesis There are alternatives to achieve justice rather than by retributive means, the island nation of New Zealand has been practicing restorative justice for nearly thirty years. This European dominated culture believes in giving first time offenders a second chance; in many cases, the future of youth offenders is taken into consideration.
This paper is an analysis of the mission goals of the restorative justice system practiced in New Zealand. Furthermore, this paper will discuss the restorative process utilized within the New Zealand, criminal justice system. This paper will conclude with what demographic group benefits the most due to the restorative practices of this particular nation.
Restorative Justice
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Individual taxpayer dollars will continue to be wastefully spent on a prison system that will only continue to monetarily prosper, as society has seemingly given up on those who made a bad choice. "A 1989 report of a New Zealand government committee, observes that in prisons the chance of therapeutic treatment being successful is minimal because one of the primary requirements of successful change is an atmosphere of hope, self-determination, and an opportunity to learn new ways of behavior. This is rarely possible in prison, where a strict and rigid daily routine remove any prospect of self-determination" (Shriver & Shriver, 2013, p. 145). New Zealand legislators, judicial personnel, police officers, and social-workers do not view western criminal justice practices productive or fulfilling for either the victim or offender. Instead, the restorative practice of New Zealand has a specific mission goal, and according to the webpage Tikkun, that is to "approach wrongdoings in a way that brings together those most affected by the wrong; both the victims and offenders." Preferred, are face-to-face meetings which acknowledge the harm done and consider how best to redress that …show more content…
Since lawmakers turned to the philosophy of criminal justice reform, New Zealand youth have greatly benefited from the paradigm shift of implementation of restorative practices. Human beings are not perfect, and making mistakes knows no boundaries when it pertains to age. Those individuals who have placed themselves in compromising legal situations are well served by the New Zealand justice system as it pertains to youth. For many first time offenders, the solid criminal justice foundation is centralized around an approach specifically tailored for youths. "The Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989 put in place new objects, principles, and procedures for youth justice in New Zealand. The 1989 legislation was designed to develop community alternatives to institutions, to respond more effectively to the needs of victims, to provide better support for families and their children, and to reduce the number of minor offenders appearing before the court" (Maxwell & Morris, 2006, p. 241). Youth justice in New Zealand is a community based practice, and with community involvement the past state of the community can be restored. Victims receive the aid and treatment necessary to recover from wrongdoing against them, and youth perpetrators are spared the label of

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