Report: Alternatives to Prison by the Community Justice Project

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of imprisonment in the Western world, while people are increasingly becoming aware that prison is often ineffective at limiting crime and rehabilitating offenders.

This report considers alternatives to imprisonment and makes a number of recommendations about how New Zealand can improve its justice and corrections systems in order to reduce crime, help offenders and save money.

The full report is attached to this post (PDF format).

In addition participants provided short opinion pieces relating to particular aspects of their work:

Management Courts by Juliet Bull

Principles of Youth Justice by Juliet Bull

The Need for Rehabilitation by James Beaumont


Wellington Community Justice Project

The Wellington Community Justice Project is a student-led society at Victoria University of Wellington. The Project has twin aims

  • improve access to justice and legal services in the community
  • provide law students with an opportunity to gain practical legal experience.

It pursues these goals by establishing community-based volunteer projects, working with various existing organisations that share similar goals.

In 2012  participants in the programme undertook a project for the NZ Council for Civil Liberties, looking at alternatives to prison. In the study they considered a range of alternative courses of action, drawing evidence both from within New Zealand and overseas.

Our thanks to Morgan Coates, who managed the project, Juliet Bull, James Beaumont and Alexandra Cooper who together undertook the research and report.


Wellington Community Justice Project


Rethinking Crime and Punishment