New Zealand: imprisoned minorities
The New Zealand prison population has doubled in the last 15 years. Prison Insider published the figures in January 2017, in New Zealand’s country-profile, and cautioned that the record number of 10,000 prisoners was about to be surpassed and as predicted, this number was reached in June 2018. Tania Sawicki Mead is the director of New Zealand’s JustSpeak movement. Prison Insider met with her and asked her three questions.
Maoris and other minorities represent only 15% of the country's population, and yet they make up 50% of the male population and more than 70% of the female population in the prisons.
Violence leads to violence and prisons are exposed to violence.
JustSpeak is a movement advocating for change in the criminal justice system of New Zealand. It is a group of some twenty young volunteers who work to address prison policies. The organisation publishes reports and conducts campaigns to educate the public about these issues.
One of their recent campaigns was against the building of the Waikeria mega-prison.
• Their website
• New Zealand’s country-profile