Aotearoa New Zealand is widely regarded as a world leader in the development of restorative justice practice, especially with regards to youth justice.
Within the adult criminal justice system, however, restorative approaches are largely restricted to the diversion and pre-sentence areas. At the same time, our rate of imprisonment has reached one of the highest in the developed world, with projections only set to increase. This has had a disproportionate impact on Māori, creating what some have called “Māori mass incarceration.”
The Diana Unwin Chair in Restorative Justice and the Brian Picot Chair in Ethical Leadership at Victoria University of Wellington are combining to host an international conference in October 2018 on how the theory and practice of restorative justice might inform the direction and practice of penal policy in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The conference will bring scholars and practitioners that have employed restorative approaches in the prison sector, especially in the European context, and that have, through various measures, succeeded in reducing their rates of incarceration, conflict in prisons and recidivism, to engage in dialogue with New Zealand academics and policy professionals.
This dialogue will have a distinctive focus on the relationship between restorative philosophy and kaupapa Māori approaches to justice and rehabilitation. Our hope is that by drawing on the overlapping strengths of both streams of knowledge we may be able to fashion more successful ways of dealing with those in prison – ways that better achieve restorative outcomes and are grounded in our own indigenous soil.
In the lead-up to the conference, and at the gathering itself, we want the conference to generate an agreed set of proposals that could serve as a guide for future policy and practice, with respect to the following areas:
- The use of in-prison restorative justice programmes to support the accountability of detainees and address the needs of victims.
- The development of restorative prisons, with respect to institutional culture, forms of leadership and administration, conflict management practices and connections with whanau, hapū and iwi.
- Approaches to restorative reintegration that can address the multiple levels of restoration required for offenders to deal with the past and re-enter society successfully.
- The relationship between restorative approaches and Te Ao Māori, with a particular focus on justice concerns and offender reintegration.
The conference will provide an interdisciplinary platform for thinking creatively about how restorative justice and kaupapa Māori approaches together can offer fresh approaches in Corrections and prisoner reintegration.
We hope you can join us in Wellington, New Zealand, during 24-25 October 2018.
Call for Papers
The call for papers is now closed.