Source: (-0001) International Criminal Justice Review. 10: 1-32.

The last quarter century in New Zealand has witnessed enormous social, economic, and cultural change. Criminal justice has not been spared in this process, and the present article considers five key areas of sentencing and penal policy where the pressures to review and reassess have perhaps been greatest. Examined here are the growth of prison populations and the rising intensity of penal measures, the reinvention of rehabilitation as a core goal of correctional programming, the increasing use of diversion from the formal processes of justice and new trends of experimentation with novel forms of diversion, the rise and rise of the importance accorded to victims of crime (both as individual victims and jointly and stakeholders in the criminal justice process), and, finally, the efforts undertaken over a long period to address concerns about consistency and coherence in sentencing while recognizing the special place of discretion in New Zealand's sentencing culture. Overall, the impact of changes and developments in these areas has been uneven. It is not possible, therefore, to characterize this period as one of penal modernization. A number of countervailing trends, such as political pressure for regressive measures directed toward particular groups of offenders, have meant that innovations must sit side by side with the tired and often discredited approaches of earlier eras. (author's abstract)