Why does New Zealand have one of the highest rates of incarceration in the developed world?
New Zealand ranks as one of the world’s most peaceful countries in the Global Peace Index every year. Yet despite a strong reputation for social justice and equality, the South Pacific nation has the second highest rate of imprisonment rates in the western world.
In the past two decades, the jail population has doubled. One international study examining law and order across western nations attributes it to a “tough on crime” approach by New Zealand’s political parties since the 1980’s, even though crime rates are low.