Community involvement in the treatment of offenders prior to sentencing : the New Zealand experience


New Zealand has a very high rate of imprisonment when contrasted with other comparable countries. Nevertheless New Zealand also has a number of initiatives and projects which seek to engage the wider community in the treatment of criminal offenders, many of which are outlined in this paper. This paper also looks at some of the legislative and other mechanisms available to courts and others to utilise these processes and enhance community involvement prior to sentencing. By strengthening the use of community treatment providers and providing for even greater community involvement in the system generally there is potential to both reduce the high imprisonment rate and address the causes of offending. (Introduction, edited.)