Prisons need to be transformed, not simply expanded




7 May 2024

Prisons need to be transformed, not simply expanded

In response to the news that more beds will be built in Waikeria prison, Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand is calling on the Government to address the fundamental issues with the criminal justice system. The following comment can be attributed to Lisa Woods, Campaigns Director at Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand: 

“Aotearoa New Zealand needs to take a fundamentally different approach to criminal justice, one that fully upholds Te Tiriti o Waitangi and protects the human rights of all. Instead, the Government seems to be doubling down on the existing system, a system which we know is causing enormous harm to individuals and communities. Building more beds does nothing to address the upstream causes of offending, nor does it address the harm occurring in our prison system today.

“As a society, we now have a wealth of knowledge to guide a pathway towards the transformation of the justice system. Any effort to fix the immediate resourcing issues in courts and prisons needs to be coupled with long-term work to progress along this transformative path.”