DOCUMENT

6 THE AOTEAROA HANDBOOK OF CRIMINOLOGY are changing the cultural dynamics of justice (Oleson; Quince). While these courts are gaining in popularity, they are not without their issues, not least that they can bring more people into the system through a criminalisation of social problems. Alongside these reformist measures, there are many in New Zealand who are working towards truly transformative responses to ‘crime’, including the ways in which society is structured to make certain responses appear as necessary or correct. Contributors to this handbook regularly reflect on the need to prioritise person-centric, relationship-based, socially engaged, culturally safe, and life-improving responses to harms and violence (Jury et al.; Gibbs; Durrant & Riley). They also remind us that truly transformative responses will require radical actions (see Hutton; Lamusse & McIntosh; Armstrong; Stanley) – to decriminalise, build stronger social, economic, and cultural rights, challenge exclusionary (real or metaphorical) borders, and abolish the conditions that make so many of our harmful criminal justice responses even possible. CONCLUSION Taken together, the chapters in this handbook present a troubling recognition of multiple failings around crime and justice in Aotearoa New Zealand and beyond. While there are undoubtedly useful and protective responses to crimes and harms across many areas, there remain significant gaps in knowledge, policy, and practice. Further, the ‘crime problem’ is highly politicised, and official responses are frequently led by emotion or institutional strategic intent rather than by evidence or community need. Under these conditions, criminal justice frames are largely led by short-term political gains that have served only to reproduce and sustain settler-colonial conditions, and which have entrenched inequitable power relations in terms of ‘race’, class, gender, sexuality, age, ability, legal status, and species. Despite the continual deployment of new laws, strategies, policies, and frameworks for the criminal justice sector over the past few decades, discriminatory and harmful practices have been maintained and, in some respects, consolidated. For criminology thinkers, there is a great deal to unpack, think through, and act on. We hope that this collection will assist you in propelling future improvements to how we define crime, how we prevent it, and how we can respond in much better ways to those who are victimised by crimes and wider harms. Further, given the many problems highlighted around our official responses, we encourage you to think and act beyond the dominant frames of criminal justice. After all, the chapters in this handbook repeatedly demonstrate the need to use criminological knowledge and imaginations to propel decolonising, feminist, critical, and socially just knowledge and transformations as a means to reinvigorate safety and well-being across all our communities. Mā te rongo, ka mōhio. Mā te mōhio, ka mārama. Mā te mārama, ka mātau. Mā te mātau, ka ora.

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy NjA0NA==