November 13, 2023
National’s political spite against cultural sentencing reports won’t help justice
Posted On November 13, 2023
Cultural Sentencing Reports are an attempt to inform the Judge before sentencing if mercy is warranted before punishing someone found guilty of a crime.
It is a welcome addition to making our justice system more just.
It allows the Judge to have a far greater understanding of the person they are about to sentence in the hope that more knowledge of a person’s background might help explain their current actions and whether or not rehabilitation is possible or likely.
It provides a context for the Judge to make a just sentence, but the rhetoric from the political right is that these cultural reports are a soft on crime approach when punishment is the priority.
National have already promised to cut the funding for these cultural reports in a giant leap backwards for the quality of sentencing.
Giving Judges context on the person they are sentencing isn’t soft on crime, it’s smart on crime and National’s political spite is utterly misplaced and counter productive.
Seeing as Māori make up a staggering 52% of prisoners, removing these cultural sentencing reports will impact them far more than any other group in New Zealand.
This is a knee jerk policy by National that will make our quality of justice worse, not better.