Managerialism in Australian Criminal Justice: RIP for KPIs?
journal contributionposted on 29.10.2019, 08:25 by Arie Freiberg
Over the last twenty-five years, managerialism, or new public management, has produced sweeping reforms in the criminal justice system. However, it has been relatively unremarked, probably because it has been embedded in a broader moderning process of government. This article examines the substantive effects that managerialism has had on the criminal justice system. Of particular concern is its influence on the concepts of justice and on the criminal justice system, viewed both as a system and in terms of its constituent arms and processes: law enforcement, the courts, sentencing and corrections. It argues that the influence of managerialism has been pervasive, powerful and in some cases, pernicious. On the other hand, where it has been allied with good management, it has brought efficiency, effectiveness, economy and clarity of purpose which was lacking from many parts of a system which was very far from perfect. Finally, it argues that a post-managerlist system can potentially take the best of reforms of the last few decades to create a hybrid combining good governance with humanity and justice.