November 17, 2015
Restorative Justice risks paying off
#The head of Restorative Justice Aotearoa says this country is taking the model further than others.
It’s International Restorative Justice Week, and Mike Hinton says what sets the practice apart is that it come from the flax roots level rather than being imposed from above.
He says it came from people who cared about their communities and wanted to allow people to say how they have been harmed by crime and violence and what should be done about it.
While there are similar systems in other countries, New Zealand has been prepared to take risks such as using it for family violence and sexual offending.
"Those two areas are fraught with difficulty and must be treated at all times with care and real understanding and respect of how you actually manage cases like that but as a country we have dipped our toe in the water and said we are going to use restorative justice for these kinds of cases and so far it has been working really really well," Mr Hinton says.
Maori are comfortable about participating in restorative justice because it is about communication, and whanau can have their say as well.
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