Supporting people through the criminal justice system
Feedback suggests many participants in the justice system find the process difficult. In addition, understanding of the justice system may be low among some participants.
Education for everyone will be challenge. So, maybe introduce initiation with iwi. How we help whanau navigate their way through the court system until reforms come. Kaihautu role to navigate any Māori through the system from end to end.
More court education around engagement with support people. Court advisors have a role, which is great, but to rely on them is problematic, professionals needed. Most of the support is the initial engagement and then building up to trial engagement – the time it takes before trial can be helpful to get people ready for that process.
Communities don’t understand their rights now. It needs to be accessible, e.g. for ESOL people, and based on needs. More information sharing.
Basic information about what is going to happen to you – info sheet in the cells in remand. Forget the formality – just tell people what is happening in real language.
Language used in courts is very confusing – everyone involved need better information.
Towards a restorative justice approach
Many responses recommend restorative justice is given a more formal role in achieving justice outcomes. Emerging themes include promoting awareness and understanding of a restorative justice system and reconsidering the timing of restorative justice processes.
Education of Community to Restorative Concepts, Community connectedness for all, the investment cost.
Pathway to healing = outside the justice system. Restorative process for person and wider family included.
Judiciary for serious crimes and community-based restorative system for other crimes.
System would be based on restorative practices, that is on repairing harm and relationships (between people harmed, people who harm, and communities) rather than on punishment.
Expand on alternative approaches
Responses are strongly supportive of various alternative approaches which may offer advantages over the adversarial approach. In particular, there is widespread support for Te Pae Oranga and other approaches with a cultural focus.
We should start with Marae community justice panels – kaupapa Māori for everyone.
Community based interventions such as Te Pae Oranga Iwi Justice panels must be made available throughout the country.
Rangatahi and Pasifika youth court used as a model for the adult court.
Indigenous models of justice – rangatahi courts, Pasifika courts, Matariki courts.