After hitting a peak of nearly 11,000 in early March 2018, New Zealand’s prison population now sits comfortably below 8,000. It is the most dramatic reduction in prison numbers in New Zealand’s history. The Spinoff’s Jarrod Gilbert looks at the possible causes of the reduction, and fears that Election 2023 might reverse the trend. A large part of the promise of prisons is reform but, with reoffending rates alarmingly high, the vision of prison as a place where people rehabilitate is a difficult case to make.