Stories from behind bars endeavour to humanise incarcerated

By Stefan Dimitrof

A new podcast advocating rehabilitation, restoration and decolonisation of the justice system has been released.

The True Justice podcast is offering a vision of future justice that explores the journey people take through the justice system from the time of the arrest through incarceration and life post-prison.

Apiphany Forward Taua (Nō Waikato Tainui, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Hinerangi) representing the Justice Advocacy Group Just-Speak, which is producing the series, said that idea behind the series was anchored in Just-Speaks vision.

“Our kaupapa as an organisation advocates for transformational change in the criminal justice system and I think what we hoped for this podcast is that we would be able to foster and nurture a different perspective.

“Hopefully people will be able to see or envision an Aotearoa without prisons, police and the punitive colonial system that we currently have in place.”

'Part of our society'

Taua said the criminal justice system wasn’t working for a lot of the people in it through the disproportionate representation of Māori in the system.

“Vulnerable people in our community experience mental health issues or addiction issues, and we did see how this system actually works in a way to support and manaaki those people so, when they come out of prison or come out of the criminal justice system, they are better able to contribute and be a part of our society in a positive way.”

Taua said they wanted to provide this programme to show what is going on in the system and what people are putting their tax dollars toward.

“For a lot of people what a dehumanising experience for whānau and people in the prison system is and we also wanted to give an opportunity for people to reflect on all of the complex and dynamic facets of our justice system.

“What we ultimately want to do is provide that in a way where people can move that mysteriousness of our system and see that through the eyes of people.”

You can find the podcast with the following link here