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Rethinking the Utility of the Risk Factors and Criminogenic Needs Approaches in Aotearoa New Zealand
This article explores the development and utilisation of the risk factors and criminogenic needs frameworks in criminal justice responses aimed at the Indigenous Māori population in Aotearoa-New Zealand. These approaches present an individualistic focus on offender deficits, underpinned by a simplistic model of crime as a self-evident social phenomenon arising from faulty psychology or dysfunction in the communities in which offenders reside. It is argued that this limited conceptualisation of crime deliberately ignores the historical processes and neo-colonial policies that continue to maintain the wider economic and social inequalities that impact disproportionately on the Indigenous population. Further, under the guise of culturally responsive programming, the criminogenic needs based interventions incorporate only selective and decontextualised elements of Māori culture, to outwardly Indigenise and legitimise state social control, with a focus on containment rather than the possibilities of furthering Indigenous self-determination over justice.
Recommended CitationWebb, Robert, Rethinking the Utility of the Risk Factors and Criminogenic Needs Approaches in Aotearoa New Zealand, Journal of Global Indigeneity, 3(1), 2018.