The Limited Benefit of Prison in Controlling Crime : On the Threshold of a Political Shift

Brown, David (2011) The Limited Benefit of Prison in Controlling Crime : On the Threshold of a Political Shift. In Maxwell, Gabrielle (Ed.) The Costs of Crime - Towards Fiscal Responsibility. Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand.

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In 2012 the New Zealand government spent $3.4 billion, or nearly $800 per person, on responses to crime via the justice system. Research shows that much of this spending does little to reduce the changes of re-offending. Relatively little money is spent on victims, the rehabilitation of offenders or to support the families of offenders.

This book is based on papers presented at the Costs of Crime forum held by the Institute of Policy Studies in February 2011. It presents lessons from what is happening in Australia, Britain and the United States and focuses on how best to manage crime, respond to victims, and reduce offending in a cost-effective manner in a New Zealand context.

It is clear that strategies are needed that are based on better research and a more informed approach to policy development. Such strategies must assist victims constructively while also reducing offending. Using public resources to lock as many people in our prisons as possible cannot be justified by the evidence and is fiscally unsustainable; nor does such an approach make society safer. To reduce the costs of crime we need to reinvest resources in effective strategies to build positive futures for those at risk and the communities needed to sustain them.

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ID Code: 68394
Item Type: Book Chapter
ISBN: 9781877347443
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, Victoria University
Deposited On: 12 Mar 2014 23:01
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2015 03:44

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