A Fair Assessment of Risk: Examining New Zealand's Risk Assessment Practices
61 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2018 Last revised: 8 May 2018
Date Written: April 2, 2018
Risk assessment is now a key feature of the New Zealand criminal justice system. Risk assessments are relevant to sentencing and parole decisions, and importantly, the imposition of post-sentence measures. The decisions that are informed by risk assessments have serious consequences for the deprivation of liberty of offenders. Despite its growing importance, risk assessment is not widely understood by the legal community.
This paper provides a broad overview of risk assessment practices in New Zealand. In doing so, it explores several shortfalls in the risk assessment process. It appears that the limitations of risk assessment evidence are not well understood. As this paper argues, it is only by truly engaging with risk assessment evidence that proper consideration can be given to the balance between the rights of individual offenders and the interests of the community. To assist with this, this paper argues for a number of changes in the way that risk assessments are carried out.
Keywords: Risk, Risk Assessment, Preventive Detention, Extended Supervision Order, Public Protection Order, RoC*RoI
JEL Classification: K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation