These are the main law and justice-related projects we have been involved with over the past three years, with our current project at the top. The issues around the justice system, and especially the over-representation of Mãori in it as prisoners and victims of crime, must be resolved over the next couple of decades. We are working closely, in particular, with Pillars on a range of projects.

Law school longitudinal survey  - second year study

The second year survey has just gone out (18 August 2015).  Please view the consent form and information sheets here.

Loves me Not programme against family violence 2013

This programme evaluation is taking place in mid-2013. A family violence prevention programme involving the teaching of healthy relationships is being piloted in nine secondary schools to Year 12 students. The project team includes the police, MSD and Sophie Elliott Foundation. The impact evaluation - part two of the project - should be completed by the end of September.

An analysis of prison reintegration services in Canterbury 2013

This project is funded by the Lotteries Community Sector Research fund to the Howard League.  It has three parts: an analysis of existing services in the region, a literature review of ideal service provision, and a strengths and gaps analysis.  It is particularly interesting to be doing this work at a time when the Departmetn of Corrections is reviewing its own services, and is looking to progressive and effective options.

Victims Voices project, Ministry of Justice 2012.

This project is now complete.

Improving the effectiveness of large-class teaching in law degrees

Liz Gordon acted as mentor, surveyor and focus group co-ordinator for this project. Based at the University of Canterbury, a group of law lecturers sought views on teaching methods in the large compulsory classes.  While students like the more questioning and active methods of learning, as opposed to listening to lectures, views were divided over online learning and other approaches.  The problem for the staff now is how to incorporate a more active learning approach in huge lecture theatres.

Maori children of prisoners research, November 2011

tpk_report.jpgThis report has made a real splash, and, as noted on the news page, has led the Minister of Maori Affairs to call for a Ministerial Review.

The report reviews data on the pathways followed by the children in this study, which seems to explain the fact that the children of prisoners have a strongly increased likelihood of ending up in prison. One concern is that the precursor factors -emotional harm, anger, stress, disengagement from schooling, poor health and inadequate resources – are relatively easy to identify, but rarely acted upon by social agencies.

The agencies of health and education do not appear to have the capacity to resolve these problems. The result is that the society is condemned to continual increases in prison numbers, with many tamariki Māori set to populate those additional places.

None of this is inevitable. The findings of this study – the first of its kind in Aotearoa New Zealand - shows where many of the problems lie and what kind of interventions may be successful. Community engagement, more effective health and education interventions and a justice system that is mindful of the needs of the children, can together go a long way towards reducing intergenerational imprisonment

The causes of, and solutions to, intergenerational crime, August 2011

This is the final report of the Study of the Children of Prisoners, a two year research project sponsored by Pillars.  A model of research for policy and practice, this report has received a lot of attention among multiple government agencies.  We have undertaken around ten seminars across agencies in Wellington, presenting our findings and the implications for policy and practice.

Education and the law, information for school principals, September 2011

We spent several months in 2011 working with Community Law Canterbury and some senior law students, updating the structure and content of the Education and the Law website, which is part of the Educational Leaders site sponsored by the Ministry of Education.  Find it here.

Practice manual for working with the children of prisoners, November 2010

Written for social and justice agencies, the practice manual arises from the children of prisoners research.  The manual reports the research findings, explores the implications and provides suggestions for good practice.  Written by Lesley MacGibbon, Verna McFelin and Liz Gordon.

Invisible children, December 2009

The first year report of the study of the children of prisoners, this report provides the best overview of the detailed findings in relation to health, education, economic and social factors and the causes of intergeneration transmission of crime.

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