We know that our current criminal justice system is not adequately meeting the needs of:

  • the public, too many of whom have little confidence in it
  • people who have been victimised and experience the harm caused by crime (particularly victims of family and sexual violence)
  • people who offend, the majority of whom have long-standing vulnerabilities, which, if more effectively addressed, could enable their earlier safe exit from the system (and may help them avoid contact with criminal justice processes in the first place), and
  • Māori, who are disproportionately represented as both victims and offenders of crime.

We have one of the highest imprisonment rates in the OECD, and it's likely to continue to grow if we do not work differently

There are around 220 people in prison per 100,000 New Zealanders, compared to the OECD average of around 147 prisoners per 100,000 people.


 51 percent of people in prison are Maori  

People who identify as Māori are disproportionately represented at every stage in the criminal justice system

Māori are 38% of people proceeded against by Police, 42% of people convicted, and 51% of people in prison.

This is despite Māori making up only approximately 16% of the New Zealand population.



Many people that are in the criminal justice system have experienced trauma themselves

53% of women and 15% of men in prison have experienced a sexual assault.

77% of people in prison have been victims of violence.

46 of people in prison have a traumatic brain injury.


Our reoffending rates are high

Around 60% of people who offend are reconvicted within 2 years following release from prison.

Around 42% are re-imprisoned after 2 years following release from prison.



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