May 19, 2016
Justice champion given doctorate
Justice reform campaigner Kim Workman is being given an honorary doctorate today by Wellington’s Victoria University.
Chancellor Sir Neville Jordan says Mr Workman, from Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Rangitaane, is one of the country’s most respected authorities on criminal justice reform and corrections policy.
His life-long contribution has had, and continues to have, a profoundly positive and lasting impact on New Zealand’s justice system.
The former police officer pioneered the police youth aid section and went on to a number of other civil service roles at the Office of the Ombudsman, the State Services Commission, the Department of Maori Affairs, the Ministry of Health, and the Department of Justice where he oversaw major reform in the prison service.
On his retirement from the public sector Mr Workman became the national director of Prison Fellowship New Zealand, co-launched the nationally significant Rethinking Crime and Punishment project, and more recently was involved in establishing Justspeak, a national youth movement advocating positive reform in the criminal justice system.
Sir Neville says from governmental head offices down to a grassroots level, individuals all over the country – prisoners, victims, their families and communities, justice professionals and advocates have benefited from his intelligent and progressive work.
"He has also been integral to generating national debate on key issues such as rehabilitation, crime reduction, human rights and social justice.
"Throughout his career, Mr Workman has shown incredible passion, vision and persistence. The University is proud to count him as part of its alumni community."
Mr Workman graduated from Massey University in the 1980s, and completed a Graduate Diploma in Arts, majoring in Religious Studies, at Victoria in 2012. He occasionally returns to Victoria to give lectures.
During his tenure as the University’s 2015 J.D. Stout Fellow, Mr Workman began work on a new book examining the criminal justice system over the past 30 years. The Criminal Justice System, the State and Maori – From 1985 to the Present is scheduled for publication in 2017.
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