File(s) not publicly available

Criminal justice

posted on 05.04.2018, 00:00 by Andrew FrostAndrew Frost
Social policy concerns the promotion of collective well-being by means of the administration of social welfare. By definition this implies simultaneous benefit to the person and the community at large. For the individual to thrive the community must prosper, and vice versa. This is a straightforward enough idea with respect to social policy surrounding, say, education. The universal provision of education generates, potentially at least, knowledgeable and creative citizens who, in turn, contribute singly and collectively to the good of society. With respect to social policy and crime, however, the relationship is more complex. Crime presents itself as a negative goal: to be prevented rather than attained. To fulfil the aim of maximising well-being, social policy seeks to replace conduct that causes harm with conduct that reflects pro-social qualities, such as respect, and its close relative, trust. Criminal justice, as a component of social policy, has a significant role in this by mitigating harm done by crime and by responding to criminal offending. Nevertheless, research suggests strongly that those factors that influence welfare outcomes – such as education, poverty and inequality – also intersect with factors that contribute to crime (Wilkinson & Pickett, 2010). It seems, then, that such factors should also be targeted if criminal justice is to be successful. Criminal justice is called on when the social requirement to take into account the rights, needs and feelings of fellow citizens fails. Questions inevitably arise, however, as to whom or what we identify as responsible for this failure, and thus for the prevalence of crime; and who or what is held accountable for its commission. These questions of responsibility and accountability relate to policy action issues: how we address and manage crime; how those involved and affected are treated; how we communicate crime’s



Maidment J; Beddoe L

Parent Title

Social policy for social work and human services in Aotearoa New Zealand: Diverse perspective

Start Page


End Page


Number of Pages





Canterbury University Press

Place of Publication

Christchurch, New Zealand

Peer Reviewed


Open Access


Cultural Warning

This research output may contain the names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. We apologize for any distress that may occur.

Era Eligible


Usage metrics