The start of September marked the beginning of a new era for Corrections. Before September, our three main service arms of prisons, probation and rehabilitation existed under one department, but operated independently. However, on 3 September 2012 the services officially came together as one cohesive team called Corrections Services.
Dr Brendan Anstiss is the new General Manager Corrections Services and leads this team, which comprises all frontline Corrections staff, including corrections officers, probation officers, case managers, psychologists, programme facilitators, employment instructors and community work supervisors.
This should lead to a more unified end-to-end service for offenders, and will make it easier for staff to work together to achieve our goal of significantly reducing re-offending.
Reporting to Brendan will be an assistant general manager, a director Mäori, a director offender health, and four new regional managers.
The strengthened regional leadership will mean more freedom to come up with local solutions and ideas for improvement, with greater room for decision-making at a local level. While staff will continue to have mandatory national standards they must meet, there will also be greater empowerment for staff to make professional decisions and introduce innovation.
After all, we know that there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to rehabilitating offenders. We’re also making it easier for innovations to go from being a good idea to becoming part of what we do and sharing and embedding best practice.
Forging stronger relationships with communities, iwi and treatment providers is crucial to us succeeding in turning people’s lives around, and we will be engaging more closely
with groups across New Zealand, starting with a series of stakeholder engagement meetings across the regions later in the year. We know we can’t achieve our goal of reducing re-offending by 25 percent alone, so we’ll be looking to stakeholders for their ideas and support.
Other key changes to Corrections’ structure include a smaller Executive Leadership Team focused on delivering an integrated strategy across the Department. The Executive Leadership Team has spent time looking at our key priorities for the future, and recently enjoyed a refresher about what it’s like for those on the frontline by each shadowing a staff member for a day.
Service Development is a newly created team within Corrections that will focus on strategy and planning, as well as providing expert advice and professional leadership for our operational teams.