Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 10. 24 May 1972
...In New Zealand
...In New Zealand
It is in steps towards such an end which have recently been taken in New Zealand that the greatest hope for real advances in penal reform lies. The periodic detention scheme, introduced initially for juvenile offenders, and now extended to adult offenders, attempts to remove the obstacle to reform of isolation from the community by only confining the subjects during the weekend. In the least enlightened of the hostels, a sort of 'weekend prison' regime is in force, but in at least one there appears to be something approaching an attempt to avoid all the trappings of punishment, in an atmosphere that attempts to be non-institutional. The Youth Aid Section of the Police aims to prevent appearances before the courts of young offenders guilty of minor crimes, and although this has implications in the field of civil liberties as long as it remains in the hands of the Police, it is a step towards a more positive system. Recent legislation has instructed the courts not to impose short prison sentences unless absolutely necessary, and although it is not as yet clear how far the courts are adhering to the spirit of the legislation, this too is a desirable development. And of course the Probation Service, is a long standing attempt to keep offenders out of prison. These are positive steps, but they provide only for the minor, or "inexperienced" criminal. The serious problem is still treated only in Paremoremo or Mt. Eden. Playfair sees little, hope in the present English situation. Perhaps there is a little more hope in New Zealand, though the retirement of Dr. Robson as Secretary of Justice seems to have heralded the apparently inevitable period of, at best, stagnation which follows a period of advance.