Overuse in the Criminal Justice System in New Zealand
International Penal and Penitentiary Foundation series, Cambridge, Intersentia, Forthcoming
31 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2017
Date Written: September 24, 2016
Whilst New Zealand has experienced a decline in recorded crime and the number of prosecutions in recent years, at the same time the prison population has continued to climb. This chapter examines the reasons for New Zealand’s high per capita prison population and illustrates that attempts to reduce prosecution have not filtered through to affect rates of imprisonment. It examines prosecution trends, and argues that efforts to consider alternatives to prosecution have had little impact on the prison population or on rates of imprisonment. It is shown that the overuse of imprisonment in New Zealand can be seen to be a result of longer nominal and effective sentences imposed, driven by both government policy and the public mood. The rather blunt mechanisms open to Government to reduce imprisonment in the current system makes for the consequent likelihood of continued overuse of imprisonment in New Zealand.
Keywords: criminalisation, prosecution, imprisonment, New Zealand criminal justice
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation