Corrections News Jan-Feb 2011

Chief Executive interview

What are your initial impressions of Corrections?

I’ve been really impressed. People seem open and proud of their work. There’s a strong sense of commitment and focus. There’s positive momentum, with lots of good projects on the go.

Why did you apply for the job?

I believe this is a job worth doing because we help to keep New Zealanders safe every day.

When I look at my history, Corrections sits at the end of a pathway I’ve been working on most of my life. Seventy percent of long term prisoners have come to us with a Child, Youth and Family history. Many offenders are on a benefit, and have had contact with Work and Income.

What are your priorities for Corrections?

First, we must continue to improve public safety and hold offenders to account.

Second, we want offenders to leave Corrections better than when they arrived. I know some people won’t change, but I believe they’re in the minority.

In terms of rehabilitation, I think we should be focusing on education and employment. I think having a job can be one of the single largest transformative factors in a person’s life. We also need an emphasis on health – helping offenders beat addictions, for example.

What do you think are the biggest challenges Corrections faces?

Rehabilitation is one of the biggest challenges, especially in supporting offenders to sustain the positive changes they make.
We’re in a strong position with our dedicated Rehabilitation and Reintegration Services. We can’t solve all the problems on our own, but I know we’ll be taking a lead in working with other agencies to create more joined-up solutions.

Your contract is for five years; what will success look like in 2016?

We’ll have reduced re-offending rates, we’ll have harnessed frontline people’s good ideas and we’ll be held in high regard by staff, stakeholders and the public. We’ll have created solutions we haven’t thought of yet. We’ll have helped the general public to understand why we do the things we do.

Ray Smith brief biography


Ray joined the Department of Social Welfare as a frontline staff member in Auckland when he left school in 1983. He worked there in several roles, both frontline and management, before moving to Wellington as National Service Delivery Manager in 1995.


Corrections also welcomes Christine Stevenson as our new Deputy Chief Executive. Christine comes to us from her role as Acting Deputy Chief Executive of the Ministry of Justice, bringing considerable knowledge of the wider sector.

Christine and Ray have worked together previously at the Ministry of Social Development.

Chief Executive's comment

 Welcome to my first Corrections News column as Chief Executive.

I’ve only been in the job a matter of weeks, but I’m already confident that we’re on the right track towards increasing public safety and reducing re-offending.

There’s a good feeling in the organisation. We have proud and committed staff who are doing a difficult job with considerable skill. We are already implementing many positive initiatives that will lead to greater effectiveness with offenders.

Technically I started work on Christmas Day, so, since I was in the area, I visited Waikeria Prison. Thanks to the staff at Waikeria and right around the country for working on a day most people have off.

In my first full working week in January, I spent a lot of time out of the office. I was in Auckland for two days, where I visited three offenders on home detention in Manurewa. I was impressed with the approach of the probation officer – the offenders were clear he was in charge, but he had a good rapport with them.

I went to Auckland Prison and Auckland Women’s Corrections Facility and visited some Corrections Inmate Employment initiatives such as the concrete yard and the nursery. I think there’s huge potential in the range of industries we are involved with to help prisoners get full time work at the end of their sentence.

I’ve been part of the wider system for many years now – including working for the Ministry of Social Development as the Deputy Chief Executive of Child, Youth and Family (CYF), and Work and Income – and some Corrections News readers may know me already.

One of the strengths I believe I bring to my new role is a wide view of where Corrections fits in to the system. So often in my work with families through CYF I would see that dad was in prison and mum was on a benefit, often struggling with drug addiction or other problems. So often the kids we helped at CYF would eventually come to Corrections.

I’ve been given a great opportunity to come here to lead and add to what Corrections is already doing to break the offending cycle. Corrections has a great deal of knowledge about the causes of offending, and I hope that ultimately we can influence the wider system and create a better New Zealand.

I’ll be trying to harness new ideas from our frontline staff and I’ll be encouraging teams to set lofty goals. I want people to feel they can have a go at changing things for the better.

I hope that all Corrections News readers, whatever their connection to the corrections arena, will be supporting us as we move ahead to meet the challenges of the future.

Ray Smith

Cover up

Volunteers Pippa Coom and Tigi Ness help to prepare books for Auckland Prison library.Auckland Prison’s librarians were joined late last year by members of the NZ Society of Authors and other volunteers to prepare 450 books for the prison library.

Volunteers met at the Grey Lynn library to cover, stamp, and glue pockets into the donated books. The books have now joined around 8000 other titles in the prison library.

“Many prisoners have low levels of literacy, but good books can encourage them to seek assistance to improve their literacy levels,” says Prison Manager Neil.

Celebrating volunteers

Corrections Kaumatua Des Ripi serves food to volunteers and their families at a picnic in Outhwaite Park in Grafton, Auckland, to celebrate International Volunteers Day.December 5 2010 was International Volunteers Day, and Corrections staff around the country celebrated the many volunteers who generously give their time, energy and skills to help offenders.

Many prisons marked the occasion by giving Volunteer Recognition Awards to publicly acknowledge the contributions of their volunteers.

Corrections has around 3000 registered volunteers.

Wild ginger gets comeuppance

 Corrections, in partnership with the Auckland Council, is helping to clear wild ginger from Cornwallis in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park.

Offenders serving community work sentences go out to the park twice a week to clear the pernicious weed under the supervision of Community Work Supervisors Toma Vaurasi and Noel Ward, and a council park ranger.

Ginger spreads easily, smothers other plants and is notoriously hard to get rid of, but the council have supplied a herbicide that offenders apply to the stump after cutting the plant down to stop it growing again.

As well as removing the ginger, offenders are planting native plants in areas that are exposed to erosion.

“This project demonstrates the diversity of the many different people and groups helping to look after our regional parks,” says Auckland Council Parks, Sports and Recreation Manager Ian Maxwell.

“We have a lot of volunteers, community groups and organisations helping out, and this is another great example of collaboration and a huge help in keeping a nasty weed under control.”

This project is just one way offenders serving community work sentences are making amends to the community. In the 2009/10 year, offenders serving community work sentences completed almost 3.75 million hours of work.

Tai Aroha - Finding a new path

Team Tai Aroha, from left, Household Supervisor Angeline Paerau, Acting Principal Psychologist Juanita Ryan, Psychologist Andrea Cullen, Programme Facilitator Paul Mahutonga, Programme Manager Poata Watene and Residential Co-ordinator/Assistant Manager Tutapu Pere.Rows of shoes in the entry hall at Tai Aroha house are a sign that they do things differently here.

The two-storey villa overlooking the Waikato River in a quiet Hamilton suburb is home to Corrections’ intensive programme for offenders on community sentences.

Participants live in a therapeutic community with a kaupapa Mâori approach.

They spend hours each day working with programme facilitators and psychologists, examining their past attitudes and behaviour and looking for ways to change.

They also share household duties from cooking and cleaning to lawn mowing and vegetable gardening.

Tai Aroha’s unique format provides participants with new skills and opportunities to test them in the real world with supervised outings to the gym, the indoor pools, and shops.

Referred by their probation officers before sentencing, participants must meet several criteria, including psychological assessment.

Attending the programme for at least 14–16 weeks is a special condition of their sentence.

If they weren’t at Tai Aroha they would be in the community – either on home detention or at large.

The rolling intake allows residents to join the house at any time.

Programme Manager Poata Watene encourages existing residents to take on a tuakana (big brother) role and show the new arrivals the ropes.

“The dynamic’s always changing and that brings its own challenges. But it’s also a chance for the guys to show they can cope and build up resilience for when they go home.”

Constant supervision is vital; the residents know there is always someone willing to talk or listen to them, to challenge any unacceptable behaviour, or give them something to do.

Day-shift house supervisor Angeline works closely with the residents from the time they arrive, inducting each one into the kawa of the house, planning and preparing meals, inspecting rooms, and escorting residents to their scheduled activities.

In late November 2010, the residents are four young men – all with ‘criminal lifestyle’ offending including violence.

After several weeks at Tai Aroha, Bobby is open about the “raw and rough” person he was before.

He’s been working on his anger and violence. His family say he’s already changing.

Bobby knows it will be hard to resist old habits and associates when he goes home. But he reckons he has the tools and the skills to help him.

It’s those first signs of change that keep staff passionate about what they see as their opportunity to make a difference that reaches beyond the individual offender and into their families and wider communities.

PPP prison at Wiri gets go ahead

Relationships Manager Rehabilitation and Reintegration Services, Neil Campbell, briefing potential bidders at the Expression of Interest meeting.A number of significant milestones for the PPP prison at Wiri were achieved in the last two months of 2010.

In November 2010, Infrastructure Minister Bill English and Corrections Minister Judith Collins gave the go ahead for a
new prison at Wiri.

The prison will be the first in New Zealand to be designed, built and run by a public-private partnership (PPP).

Corrections issued an Expression of Interest to the market to invite tenders, and held a briefing to ensure bidders have
a common understanding of Corrections’ key priorities and strategic direction.

We expect to issue Requests for Proposals to short-listed parties in March 2011.

It’s likely a single contract will be awarded by October 2011 for the design, build, finance, maintenance and operation of the new prison, which is expected to hold 1,000 sentenced male prisoners.

Construction should start by the end of 2012 and the prison be ready to receive prisoners by the end of 2015.

Also in November, Corrections lodged a designation application with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Given the
project is of national significance, the Minister for the Environment referred our application to a Board of Inquiry. The hearing is expected to start in early May 2011.

Corrections has tried to make it easy for interested parties to provide input by supporting a ‘friend of the submitter’ service.

Run by the EPA, but funded by Corrections, a resource management planner was on hand during the four week submission period to give advice to those making submissions.

As well as providing more beds and innovative rehabilitation and reintegration services, the PPP is expected to be effective with Mâori prisoners.

The Department has recognised Ngati Te Ata and Te Akitai as the mana whenua iwi on the site for the purpose of the PPP Project.

Ngati Te Ata and Te Akitai are in the process of developing a Kaitiaki Plan which will be used to inform the development of
the Request for Proposal.

The Kaitiaki Plan allows the mana whenua groups to have a voice throughout the procurement process – it will describe what is important to Ngati Te Ata and Te Akitai in their role as kaitiaki of the site and the relationship that they as mana whenua will want to have with the prison and its operators.

The Kaitiaki Plan will be released to companies bidding for the proposed men’s prison contract at the same time that the RFP
is released.

New mental health screening tool for prisons

The new mental health screening tool will help prison nurses identify the needs of prisoners with ‘mild to moderate’ mental health needs.Prisoners have a high rate of mental health disorders.

The introduction of a Mental Health Screening Tool will improve prison nurses’ ability to identify newly received prisoners who have ‘mild to moderate’ mental health needs.

Research indicates that around 50 per cent of prisoners have some form of mental disorder, compared to 20 per cent in the general population.

New prisoners with more severe mental illnesses are generally identified during their Initial Health Assessment, but ‘mild to moderate’ mental health needs are less likely to be recognised.

It is important to identify these needs so that we can help these prisoners with appropriate interventions, including pharmacology and counselling.

Addressing mental health issues is an ongoing priority for Corrections, since addressing these needs will not only improve prisoners’ health, but may also contribute to a more stable environment in the prison and enable prisoners to better engage in rehabilitation activities that will ultimately support their reintegration back into the community.

The new screening tool will also help Corrections to improve how we identify, collect, and record information about prisoners’ mental health needs – allowing us to better quantify needs, then plan and adapt services accordingly.

In 2007 we piloted the screening tool, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, at Christchurch Men’s Prison and Auckland Central Remand Prison in order to assess its effectiveness.

During the pilot a total of 1292 screens were completed.

The pilot found that, by using the screening tool, psychotic disorders were diagnosed at a rate several times higher than expected in community settings, and 30 per cent of new male prisoners required a referral to forensic psychiatric services for further assessment.

Corrections Health Services is now working with custodial staff, Forensic Services and the Ministry of Health to implement the screening tool and establish a range of treatment packages which will address identified issues.

We expect the new screening tool, and associated care, to be rolled out nationally from early 2011.

Future focus for CPS Change Programme

The Prison Site Management Review has led to a simplification of overly complex procedures, and is ensuring clear roles, accountabilities and reporting lines for prison staff.‘Doing the right thing, with the right offender, at the right time’ has become a mantra for Community Probation Services (CPS) staff.

The simple statement captures the essence of the CPS change programme that is redesigning the way probation officers work.

The emphasis is on improving public safety by holding offenders to account and managing them to ensure sentence compliance, reduce the likelihood of re-offending, and minimise the risk of harm to others.

Until now, probation officers primarily managed offenders according to the requirements of their sentence or order.

This meant, for example, that a high-risk offender was managed in much the same way as a low-risk offender on the same sentence or order.

At the centre of the redesign is a new Integrated Practice Framework (IPF) (see box at right).

This is now being used to manage all offenders on Parole, Home Detention, Post Detention Conditions, Extended Supervision, and Release on Conditions.

From 1 June 2011, the IPF will also cover offenders on Supervision and Intensive Supervision sentences.

Change Programme Director Helen Hurst says the IPF provides a clear set of mandatory standards for each sentence and order, and for all offenders.

Beyond that, resources, time, and effort will be targeted to the management of high-risk and medium-risk offenders.

“In the next 12 months the emphasis will be on strengthening professional practice and creating more offender management tools to help probation officers manage risk by making quality decisions.

“We’ll be asking ourselves carefully how often we need to see offenders, and then providing more guidance about how to manage high-risk versus low-risk offenders.

We may find that in some cases we are ‘over-managing’ certain low-risk offenders.

With offender numbers as high as they are – about 45,000 offenders to manage on any one day – that’s not the best use of our time.”

She says another important piece of work will be the M?ori Practice Strategy which is under development.

The strategy will identify ways probation officers can be more effective with M?ori offenders and their wh?nau.

Helen says probation officers already use some helpful strategies, such as using te reo, but need to do more.

“For example, we need to provide guidance on how to run an effective wh?nau meeting in different settings. What if the offender lives a long way from their wh?nau? Or if their wh?nau members are involved with gangs? We need to provide some practical solutions for probation officers dealing with these sorts of issues.”

Other areas that CPS will focus on in the future include workforce design, support and supervision frameworks for probation officers, practice leadership, and ensuring service centres are designed to complement the new approaches.

The CPS Change Programme, which started at the end of 2009, is expected to run until March 2012.

 

What is the ‘Integrated Practice Framework’?

The Integrated Practice Framework is a way of working that places the emphasis on managing the offender, rather than the sentence or order that offender is serving.

The framework includes clear mandatory standards about what the probation officer must do with each offender, as well as a ‘supported decision framework’ that guides the probation officer in making evidence-based decisions about offender management.

The framework also includes assessment tools so that probation officers can, for example, assess the changing risk an offender poses, or whether drugs and alcohol are an issue.

New ways for prisons

The Prison Site Management Review has led to a simplification of overly complex procedures, and is ensuring clear roles, accountabilities and reporting lines for prison staff.Since 1 September 2010, prisons around New Zealand have been managed in new ways.

The new ways of working, many of which have now bedded in after their 100-day implementation period, are the result of the Prison Site Management Review.

This was a wide-ranging review that began in 2008 and sought to simplify complex procedures, and ensure clear roles, accountabilities and reporting lines.

The review aimed to give prison managers and their staff the right structure and tools to do their jobs well, manage risks effectively, improve public safety and deliver a cost-effective service.

Project Manager Paul Monk says one key change as a result of the review has been the establishment of new site-wide management positions.

“Before the review, prisons had a basic structure of a prison manager at the top, and a unit manager for each unit.

"There was very little specialisation, and, essentially, spans of control were too wide.

"We needed to ensure the right people were focused on the right things at the right level.

“Now we have managers who focus on one topic across the prison – for example, we now have a reception and movements manager, a security manager, and a residential manager who is responsible for certain units.

“Principal corrections officers now do the day-to-day management of the prison units.”

Another problem identified by the review was that some systems and processes were overly complicated and possibly obsolete.

“For example, we’ve been checking prisoner numbers every hour during the day.

"At one time, when escape numbers were higher, that was a sensible solution. But now, with escapes at an all time low due to better security, it’s likely that hourly muster checks are no longer necessary,” says Paul.

“We’re now re-assessing processes like this so staff aren’t doing tasks which have become out of date.”

Another change that should make a big difference to the lives of corrections officers is the simplification of all the various documents, such as manuals and circulars, that tell them how to do the various jobs around the prison.

Previously there were 881 different documents for corrections officers to plough through to understand the basic rules and guidelines to do their job.

The new Prison Services Operations Manual has been purged of duplication and simplified to around 73 sections, though this will change to reflect changes in policy and legislation.

New roles in our prisons

Residential Manager
Responsible for the overall management of a specific cluster of units within the prison. This role deals with site-wide operational issues, performance management, the development of staff, and planning.

Receptions and Movements Manager
Responsible for prisoner reception, placement and induction, external prisoner movements, all site visits and at risk prisoners.

Security Manager
Responsible for the overall management of security systems and equipment relating to prisoner movements at the prison, as well as the development of nationally consistent security policies and practices.

Custodial Systems Manager
Maintains the integrity of Corrections’ custodial systems and processes, and helps to manage risk within the prison.

Operational Support Manager
Supports the prison manager with all non-custodial issues at the prison, including administrative issues such as staff rotation, shared service liaison and unit compliance certification.

Principal corrections officers
Day-to-day operational managers of units.

Case by case - sentences explained: Supervision

This column profiles an offender and introduces you to some of the ways we manage their sentence.

Offender profile*

Name: Dayne
Age: 20
Occupation: On a WINZ welding programme
Offence: Drunk driving (first offence)
Sentence: Combined sentence of Supervision for six months, and 40 hours of Community Work
Managed by: Manurewa Community Probation Services
Situation: Dayne had a minor car crash when driving around after a party. He was over the limit, and Police considered it lucky that the crash wasn’t worse. Dayne lives with his Mum, but has a rocky relationship with her.

The Corrections team

The Corrections team that manages Dayne includes:

 Probation Officer – Robyn Rivett

Robyn completed a pre-sentence report on Dayne for the judge who was sentencing him (Dayne had previously pleaded guilty). Robyn met with Dayne to do the two-hour assessment, including finding out whether Dayne was remorseful (he was), and doing a background history check (this is Dayne’s first offence apart from two traffic fines).

As alcohol was directly related to Dayne’s offending, Robyn recommended a four-week Community Alcohol and Drug Services (CADS) course. When sentencing Dayne, the judge agreed that he must do the CADS course and any other assessments as directed by Robyn.

Robyn next saw Dayne to induct him into his sentences and assess his address as Dayne may not move without Robyn’s permission.

Robyn explained the requirements of Dayne’s sentences and the consequences of not complying. Dayne has to report to Robyn fortnightly for the first two months, and then once a month for the remaining four months of his Supervision sentence. He must also complete his Community Work sentence within six months.

Dayne has been mostly compliant with his sentence, but he did miss one report-in. He rang Robyn later that day to apologise and explained that he’d had an argument with his mum, spent the night at a friend’s place, and couldn’t get to the Service Centre to report as usually his mum gives him a lift (Dayne is disqualified from driving). Robyn reminded Dayne that he should have rung earlier and rang his mum to verify the story. She then accepted the excuse and gave him a verbal warning, as overall Dayne is attending his CADS course, his Community Work, and his welding course, and Robyn believes he is genuinely trying to comply with the rules.

Senior Community Work Supervisor Kani TateSenior Community Work Supervisor – Kani Tate

Kani liaises closely with Robyn to ensure they both know if Dayne misses a report-in. But so far Dayne hasn’t given Kani any trouble; he’s keen to get his community work over and have his Saturdays free again.

Kani supervises Dayne and several other offenders – the work has mostly been clearing brambles.

 

Service Manager Neil van ZylService Manager – Neil van Zyl

Service Manager Neil doesn’t expect to have much input with a compliant and low-risk offender like Dayne, but he does do risk assessments and quality checks on the work done by the probation officer.

 

 

Supervision – what is it?

Supervision is a rehabilitative community-based sentence which requires offenders to address the causes of their offending.

Offenders can be sentenced for between six months and one year.

They must report regularly to a probation officer, and comply with standard and possibly special conditions.

Supervision / Intensive Supervision – what’s the difference?

Supervision is a less severe sentence than intensive supervision.

An offender on supervision reports to their probation officer less often and the sentence is usually shorter; supervision can last up to a year; intensive supervision for up to two years.

Intensive supervision targets offenders who have been convicted of more serious offences, have complex and/or severe rehabilitative needs and are assessed as having a medium to high-risk of re-offending.

Tribute to influential researcher Don Andrews

 By David Riley, Chief Adviser Psychological Services

One of the most influential people in the development of modern, enlightened correctional policy, Don Andrews, died in October 2010.

Don began his professional life as an intern psychologist working in Kingston Penitentiary, Ontario, Canada in 1962.

He graduated with a Doctorate from Queen’s University (Ontario) and took up an academic position at Carleton University (Ontario) where he remained for the rest of his professional life.

Back then, taking up a teaching position specialising in criminal justice matters, and creating a sub faculty dedicated to that discipline must have seemed like receiving a “hospital pass”.

For much of the 1970s and 1980s there was a mood of pessimism concerning any attempts at rehabilitating offenders, opinion crystallising around an article by the sociologist, Robert Martinson, which purported to show that such efforts had little chance of success.

The slogan “nothing works” became an instant cliché which was seized on by the conservative policy-makers of the time, and it was only through the steadfast efforts of scholars like Don Andrews and his colleague Paul Gendreau that the rehabilitative ideal survived and developed into the coherent theory of effective practice which lies at the heart of modern corrections.

In addition to heading a university department which has trained numerous professionals who now work in the area, Don’s research has resulted in enhanced and defensible changes in the way in which we now view offender management.

His early experience working with probation officers led to his being the co-developer of one of the first (and still arguably one of the best) risk assessment measures, The Level of Service Inventory, which, in addition to providing an indication of the risk posed by the offender, also identified potential areas of treatment need.

As the statistical technique of meta-analysis became a preferred means of analysing large numbers of research studies, he was the primary author of what was termed “a clinically relevant and psychologically informed” examination of outcome research which formed the basis for the now widely accepted Risk, Needs, Responsivity Theory which underpins effective intervention.

In 1994 Don collaborated with James Bonta in the production of the first edition of “The Psychology of Criminal Conduct”, a volume which brought all this thinking together in a consistent and coherent manner, a book which has probably had a greater impact on criminal justice policy worldwide than anything else published during the last half century.

Now in its fifth edition,The Psychology of Criminal Conduct lies at the heart of the Department’s rehabilitation approach and remains an indispensable text in university psychology courses focusing on this area.

In addition to providing an empirical basis for effectively rehabilitating offenders, Don Andrews, in collaboration with Paul Gendreau, developed The Correctional Programme Assessment Inventory; a structured psychometric instrument which allows the user to methodically assess any given correctional programme and rate it in a standardised way along those dimensions which are associated with integrity of service and efficacy of outcome.

In addition to his outstanding contribution to the field of criminal justice, for which he has received numerous international awards, no brief tribute would be complete without reference to Don’s warmth, humour, and generosity of spirit.

He visited New Zealand in the late 1990s at the request of Community Probation Services, and he also presented an outstanding session at a gathering of Departmental psychologists in Rotorua.

I was one of those people who were privileged to spend time with him in a social context and we were able to appreciate the ethical and humanitarian values which underpinned his scholarship.

Minister's column

Minister of Corrections Judith CollinsThe New Year is often a time of change and this is certainly the case for Corrections with Ray Smith starting as the Department’s new Chief Executive.

Ray brings with him a reputation for strong and motivational leadership and during my time in Parliament I have been impressed at how Ray lifted the performance of Child, Youth and Family.

Ray, of course, takes over from Barry Matthews, who I hope is enjoying a well deserved retirement after nearly 45 years of public service.

Barry did a lot to raise the bar of excellence, accountability and professionalism across the Department.

Escapes from prison and the percentage of prisoners returning positive random drug tests dropped to record lows.

Big improvements were made in the way offenders are managed in the community and new safety equipment was introduced giving greater protection to our frontline Corrections Officers.

Corruption was tackled head-on and unethical staff were dealt with to the full extent of the law.

These achievements are a tribute to Barry and, as a result, the Department that Ray has taken over is in very good health.

However, we cannot afford to be complacent. The Government is committed to a world class corrections system.

Improvement, change and excellence are not one-off projects – they must be ongoing and embedded within the DNA of the organisation.

It is my expectation that Ray will build on the achievements of recent years and take the Department to the next level.

Over the coming months, the Department will be transitioning the management of Mt Eden/Auckland Central Remand Prison
to Serco and will be advancing a public private partnership for a new prison at Wiri.

Both of these projects will provide an opportunity to inject new ideas and new innovations into the corrections sector that will increase public safety, improve rehabilitation and lower costs.

We will be aiming to increase further the number of prisoners undergoing drug and alcohol treatment, employment training
and education because offenders who conquer their addictions, have job skills and can read, write and do maths are far less likely to re-offend.

A smoking-ban will be implemented in prisons later in the year that will greatly reduce the risk our Corrections Officers face from second hand smoke.

We will also be implementing a new uniform that our custodial staff can be proud to wear.

While there will be a lot of change, it’s important we don’t lose sight of the department’s main role - to manage offenders and keep the community safe.

I know I can count on you all in what will certainly be a busy, but exciting, year ahead!

Judith Collins
Minister of Corrections

 

Busted!

Sneaky callers

A prisoner at Waikeria is on a misconduct charge and has had his phone access restricted after a staff member became suspicious of his behaviour around the prison pay phones.

The Intel Team followed up on the tip and discovered that the prisoner was manipulating the phone system to allow other prisoners to make calls to unapproved numbers.

Central Regional Intelligence Manager Dave Alty says unapproved calls are taken seriously because they can be used to facilitate crime.

Visit turns sour

These drugs found on a visitor to Tongariro/Rangipo Prison could be enough to send her to prison.A visitor to Tongariro/Rangipo Prison was arrested and could find herself facing a prison sentence after being found with a significant amount of cannabis leaf and oil.

Staff were doing a routine search of vehicles entering the prison grounds when the prison drug dog indicated there was something in the car of a woman who’d come to visit a family member.

Prison Manager Denis Goodin says the prison has ‘zero tolerance’ for drugs.

  

Know something about a crime but want to remain anonymous? Call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Serco to manage Mt Eden/ACRP

Auckland Central Remand Prison (pictured), and its close neighbour Mt Eden Prison, have merged into one site named Mt Eden Corrections Facility. It will be managed under contract by global service provision company Serco.Global service provision company Serco has signed a contract to manage Mt Eden/Auckland Central Remand Prison, now known as Mt Eden Corrections Facility.

The partnership between Serco and Corrections is a global first in a remand setting.

Serco has won the tender to manage the prison for six years from August 2011.

Corrections will measure Serco’s performance based on reductions in re-offending from the third year of the contract onwards.

For the corrections system to succeed overall it must succeed with M?ori offenders; there is a particularly strong expectation that the private sector will be able to use international experience to make a real and positive difference in this area.

“Serco was selected after a robust two stage procurement process, with probity assurance provided by Audit New Zealand.

Chief Executive Ray Smith (left) and Serco Australia’s Managing Director Civil Government Paul Mahoney sign a global first contract.Department representatives also visited Serco-operated prisons and were impressed with what they saw,” says Corrections Finance, Systems and Infrastructure General Manager John Bole.

Underpinning the partnership is Corrections’ commitment to public and staff safety, and the safe, secure and humane containment of prisoners.

There are several measures to ensure Serco adheres to Corrections’ standards:

  • Serco will report regularly to the Chief Executive of Corrections
  • The Prison Monitor, employed by Corrections and based in the prison, will make sure Serco is performing to at least the same standard that Corrections must achieve
  • The Ombudsmen will still action complaints and can proactively investigate any issues.

Tight contract management and a range of incentives and penalties written into the contract will also provide certainty and goal-setting for both parties.

“We expect the partnership to bring new ideas and fundamentally different approaches, as well as providing the Department with access to global knowledge and learning,“ says John.

“It will be a two-way relationship that is consistent with the outcomes we’re seeking and the relationship principles that have been agreed.”

Serco is a service and outsourcing company that has been delivering essential public services for more than 40 years.

Serco’s aim is to build long term relationships by bringing innovation, organisational change and assured service delivery, and so help Corrections achieve its objectives.