March 13, 2019
Call strong for community-level justice
The head of a group reviewing the justice system says it will deliver a warts and all, no holds barred report.
The group has completed public submissions, and Chester Borrows says it will write up its conclusions for Justice Minister Andrew Little before the end of April.
He says people get into the justice system when they have been failed by other government systems like health, education and welfare.
The group has also heard how the system is racially skewed.
"Young Māori go to prison far more frequently than young Pākehā and they have worse outcomes. they get longer prison sentences than Pākehā do for committing the same offences with the same sort of background. So there are those sorts of things. So the communities are saying to us: 'Let us do justice in our community. Why do people always have to go to court.? Why can't we deal with them through an iwi panel or a community panel?'" Mr Borrows says.
He says prison should be for people the public needs to be kept safe from, and too many people are in prison for administrative reasons, such as failing to pay fines.
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