Robson Hanan Trust
The Robson Hanan Trust, through its Rethinking Crime and Punishment Project, urges New Zealanders to think again about prison as the best way to address a serious social issue. New Zealand is second only to the USA in the rate at which it locks people up, says Kim Workman, of the Robson Hanan Trust.
The Trust wants to see community-based initiatives and policy based on sound evidence rather than political slogans and them and us thinking. It seeks and spreads new ideas and ways to reduce crime and social harm.
"Community responses to crime are often more effective in the long run" says Kim. "Where an offender is held directly accountable to the community, and makes good the harm they have done, there is a greater chance they will stop offending." Approaches shown to be more effective than prison include community work, community-based drug treatment for non-violent drug offenders, engaging the offenders' whānau and community in the transformation of the offender, restorative justice, and ongoing mentor support and accountability for offenders released from prison.
"One of our challenges is to increase public and political awareness and support for programmes that are cost effective; that will cost the taxpayer less, and bring about a better result," Kim says.