Contents

Chapter 9
Proposal for reform

Oversight of providers, programmes, and facilitators

9.174The general oversight of providers, programmes and facilitators would include the functions of:

Accreditation framework, assessment, and accreditation process

9.175An accreditation framework should be developed in consultation with the sexual violence sector (including current providers of pre-sentence restorative justice programmes for sexual violence), academics and researchers in the field, and other relevant stakeholders. The accreditation framework would set the standards for providers and facilitators and for the design and delivery of alternative programmes, against which those programmes would be assessed and accredited.

Guidelines/good practice standardsTop

9.176Given the potential diversity of alternative programmes on offer, and in order to ensure consistency and continuity as to how alternative programmes are implemented and delivered across the country, guidelines or practice standards are crucial to ensure that good practice is being upheld and applied consistently across the sector.

9.177Some of this guidance may be naturally incorporated into the accreditation framework, but a separate set of guidelines or practice standards is also needed. Guidance/standards will need to cover a range of topics including the principles underpinning the alternative process and practical operational issues regarding cases moving through the alternative process.

9.178We therefore recommend guidelines/good practice standards regarding the alternative process are developed in consultation with, at a minimum, the sexual violence sector, and covering, at a minimum, the topics indicated in Appendix D.

9.179Consideration will need to be given as to whether these guidelines or practice standards should be incorporated into regulations or form a voluntary code of practice.

Ongoing monitoring and auditingTop

9.180Once providers, programmes and facilitators have been accredited, they will need to continue to operate to the best possible standards to ensure confidence of the public and participants in the process. They will therefore need to be monitored and periodically evaluated, and programmes audited, which may be in addition to any periodic renewal of accreditation required of providers and facilitators.

9.181Outcome agreements reached through the alternative process should also be periodically monitored to ensure general consistency and fairness in the types of outcomes being agreed to across the range of providers.

Building capacity and identifying need for programmesTop

9.182From our consultation with the sexual violence sector it is clear that many in the sector desire alternative approaches for dealing with sexual violence and some may be interested in developing programmes. For instance, Project Restore has indicated that it would be keen to expand their services and they have already begun a process of expansion throughout the country.

9.183However, whilst providers may emerge and programmes may be developed to meet demand, we are advised by the sector that investment needs to be put into building capacity.660 We do not want to propose a model which promises better results and access to justice but, because of lack of capacity in the sector, cannot deliver on that promise.

9.184We therefore recommend that capacity is built in the sector to ensure there are sufficient numbers of accredited providers and programmes to meet demand. This may involve training and support being provided for those seeking accreditation as providers or facilitators and identification of the need for, and development of, programmes in underserviced geographic or demographic areas.

9.185We also note that, for the alternative process to work effectively, there must be sufficient community-based programmes for treatment of harmful sexual behaviours perpetrated by adults against adults. We are advised at present that there are no such treatment programmes available in the community, although we understand that an appropriate programme has been developed and awaits implementation.

recommendations

660This is true of providers, but also of specialist facilitators for programmes, like Project Restore, that operate with a restorative justice model. We note the symposium on Restorative Justice held in October 2014, in which it was noted that although the desire and enthusiasm to expand restorative justice was encouraging, the sector’s capacity still needs to be built in order to ensure any rapid expansion will not lose the focus on victims: Lydia O’Hagan and Chris Marshall “The Present State and Future Direction of Restorative Justice Policy in New Zealand” (2014) 1 Occasional Papers in Restorative Justice Practice.