April 10, 2014
Get tough tougher on Maori
The director of Rethinking Crime and Punishment, Kim Workman, says a United Nations Working Group looking at New Zealand’s prison system has identified how get tough policies are tougher for Maori.
In its interim report at the end of its two-week tour, the panel noted the high level of Maori imprisonment and recommended the government review systemic discrimination in the police, courts and justice systems.
Mr Workman says it also raised alarm about recent law changes.
"When you start getting tough on crime and become more punitive in your approach and bring in legislation which is designed to keep people in prison for longer or make it more difficult for them to leave prison, then when you have a group like Maori that are disproportionately represented, what you do is increase that level of disproportion and disadvantage," he says.
The UN working group also criticised the quality of advice provided to Government by public servants.
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