Evidence-based decision making in the US criminal justice system will be the focus of research by Aphra Green who has been named as the New Zealand Harkness Fellow for 2015.
Ms Green, Manager of Sector Strategy in the Ministry of Justice, was chosen from a strong field of candidates for the Harkness Fellowship, which is valued at $30,000 and reinforces New Zealand-United States links by enabling aspiring leaders to benefit from a programme of personal study at a US research institution or other organisation.
Ms Green will visit agencies in the US justice sector early in 2016 and report back to justice sector leadership on how New Zealand could deliver better evidence and decisionmaking tools to criminal justice system decision-makers, particularly for bail.
The Chairman of the New Zealand Harkness Fellowships Trust Board, Ross Tanner, said Ms Green joins a group of over 100 talented people who have pursued study and research in the US as part of the Harkness Fellowships programme, which has run since the 1960s.
“The Trust Board is delighted to announce Aphra’s appointment and to welcome her to our programme”, he said.
Ms Green said she looked forward to gaining insights into the US approach to evidence-based decision making in a trip that will see her spend time primarily in New York and Washington DC.
“Key decision makers in the US criminal justice system are discussing what outcomes they want to achieve, setting targets and working together to improve decision making – and criminal justice outcomes – by using evidence and sharing practices across the US,” says Aphra.
“I’m particularly interested in looking at decision making around bail as it’s an area where it seems the US is ahead of New Zealand in using data and predictive tools to inform bail decisions. It’s also an area in which they are still innovating – so we have a lot to learn.”
“I’m honoured to receive this Fellowship, and excited by the possibilities for the research.”
About the Harkness Fellowships
The Harkness Fellowships programme has over the last sixty years enabled mid-career professionals who aspire to significant leadership roles within New Zealand, particularly in but not limited to the public sector, to benefit from new ideas, practices and contacts in the United States.
Many Harkness Fellows have gone on to become leaders in their profession and to make outstanding contributions to science and technology, health care and education, economics and public sector leadership. The New Zealand Harkness Fellowships are administered by Fulbright New Zealand.
Well-known Harkness Fellows include Hugh Fletcher, Professor Richard Faull and Rob Cameron.