Ms Samantha Taaka1, Prof Devon Polaschek1, Dr Rob Taylor2
1University Of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand
2Evidence Based Policing Centre, Wellington, New Zealand
Community restorative justice approaches have been considered effective alternatives to traditional justice responses to reduce negative post-intervention outcomes for perpetrators of low-level crimes (Taylor, 2019; Walton, Martin & Li, 2019). Negative crime outcomes include the number of offences committed after intervention, how much harm an offender commits toward the community after intervention, and how long it takes to reoffend after intervention. Te Pae Oranga is a community-based restorative justice process; previous evaluations have found it reduces negative post-intervention crime outcomes for attendees. However, it is important to continue evaluating whether Te Pae Oranga continues to work as it is rolled out to new districts and participants. We analysed a cohort of 1678 Te Pae Oranga attendees between July 2018 to June 2019, and evaluated how well they performed on crime outcomes in the 12 months after participation. Because Te Pae Oranga was developed based on Kaupapa Māori principles we also analysed separately the outcomes for Māori and European attendees. We found that Te Pae Oranga attendees reoffended significantly less, committed fewer offences, and committed less harm compared to matched controls. Māori attendees performed better than controls on all post-intervention outcomes. In contrast, European attendees took longer to reoffend than their matched controls, but their outcomes were otherwise equivalent to their controls. These findings suggest that Te Pae Oranga attendance is associated with fewer offences and less harm after intervention, and that this restorative justice approach is especially effective for Māori.
Samantha Taaka is a PhD student from the University of Waikato and the New Zealand Institute for Security and Crime Science. She is interested in research about violence that is practically applicable, and is particularly interested in the areas of prison violence and family violence. She is currently in the early stages of her PhD, and intends to examine hate crime in prisons and staff experiences of violence in prison for her PhD.