Rates of incarceration in Aotearoa New Zealand have risen steadily over the past decade while crime rates have gradually fallen. More and more people are winding up in our prisons even as fewer and fewer crimes are being committed on our streets. And nearly 51% of those incarcerated are Māori, even though they are only roughly 15% of the population. In addition to the social cost of absent parents, children, neighbours, and friends, mass incarceration costs us billions of dollars that otherwise could be spent on things like education, healthcare, conservation, and economic development. As now Prime Minister, Bill English, once said, our prisons are a “moral and fiscal failure.” Join Tom Noakes-Duncan, and panelists Chris Marshall, Allison Robinson, Liam Martin, and Kim Workman, as they get to the bottom of mass incarceration. Listen, as they hold out a vision of justice based on liberation and restoration, rather than retribution. Speak with them as they lift up the role that faith communities can play in reintegration of prisoners after their incarceration.
Chris Marshall holds the Diana Unwin Chair in Restorative Justice at Victoria University Wellington. He writes widely on topics related to restorative justice, including human rights, religious violence, and theological ethics. His publications include Compassionate Justice: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue and Beyond Retribution: A New Testament Vision for Justice, Crime, and Punishment. In addition to his academic work, Chris is an accredited and experienced restorative justice facilitator and was principal author of the “Statement on Restorative Justice Values and Processes,” adopted by the Ministry of Justice in 2004 as part of its Best Practice standards.
Alison Robinson is a priest in the Anglican Diocese of Wellington. She and her husband, Rev. Martin Robinson, have been partners in ministry, serving as co-founders Urban Vision, as Ordination Training Facilitators for the Diocese, as vicars for St. David’s in Naenae-Epuni, and as Chaplains at Rimutaki Prison. In each of these roles, she has been an advocate for social justice and civic compassion.
Liam Martin is Lecturer in the Institute Criminology at Victoria University of Wellington. His doctoral research at Boston College, funded by the National Science Foundation, involved nine months living in a halfway house for men exiting incarceration. Using life-histories and follow-up interviews, he examined the longterm impact of incarceration on former prisoners and the strategies that they employed to rebuild their lives in the face of ongoing social exclusion. Building on that research, Liam currently is investigating the social impact of mass incarceration in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Kim Workman's lifelong pursuit of justice began as a police officer in 1959. Since then, he has served in the Office of the Ombudsman, the State Services Commission, and the Department of Māori Affairs. His specific engagement with criminal justice has included service as Assistant Secretary of Penal Institutions for the Department of Justice and as National Director of Prison Fellowship New Zealand. A two-time Churchill Fellow, Companion of the Queens Service Order, and recipient of the International Prize for Restorative Justice, Kim continues his work through the Institute of Criminology at Victoria University and Just Speak.
Tom Noakes-Duncan is Lecturer in Restorative Justice at Victoria University Wellington. His doctoral research, completed at University of Otago, highlights the vital role that communities have in promoting and grounding the restorative justice vision. His thesis will soon be published by T&T Clark as Communities of Restoration: Ecclesial Ethics and Restorative Justice. In addition to teaching and research, Tom is active as a restorative justice facilitator and is a popular public speaker.