Corrections and the Justice Sector

The New Zealand Government has set Better Public Services (BPS) targets for the Justice Sector including BPS 8 - reducing re-offending by 25% by 2017. Our sector partners include NZ Police, the Ministry of Justice (including courts), the Crown Law Office and the Serious Fraud Office.

The Justice Sector

New Zealanders are increasingly expecting Justice Sector agencies to work together in innovative ways, pooling information and resources to achieve better outcomes. Teaming up with our Justice Sector partners is one of the ways that Corrections delivers services at both a national and a local level.

We work together to reduce crime and volumes in the criminal justice pipeline. Policies and approaches in one part of the pipeline can have significant effects on others; as a Sector, we can progress the pipeline in a coherent way and align our services, to provide greater benefits to the community.

Our role in the Justice Sector

Corrections plays an important role within the Justice Sector outcomes framework. Offenders are held to account in the correctional facilities that we manage, and under the community-based sentences and orders that we administer. Ensuring the integrity of these sentences and orders is central to maintaining public trust in the justice system. Our rehabilitative and reintegrative work with offenders reduces re-offending and the harm caused by crime, leading to safer communities and a more safe and just society. We help offenders to become functioning members of society who work, look after their families and participate in their communities.

Corrections is involved in the following major programmes which Justice Sector agencies are collaborating to work on:

  • The Investment Approach to Justice – the purpose is to “reduce the future burden of crime on society”. This is to be achieved by using rigorous and evidence-basedinvestment practices to:
    • better understand the people who are at risk of future offending or victimisation
    • better understand what works to reduce crime
    • consider changes to crime prevention services accordingly.

    The project is part of a broader social investment initiative. The Investment Approach to Justice will provide information to support the development of a person-centric, agency-neutral picture of risk and service effectiveness for social investment. Corrections is involved in the design of the approach and sit on relevant governance committees. We are contributing comprehensive offender conviction and sentencing data, to assist in the technical modelling and analysis which underpins the approach.

  • An inter-agency initiative that is combining data from Corrections and several other agencies to support crime prevention.

  • Christchurch Justice and Emergency Services Precinct – bringing Corrections, emergency services and all other justice services into one purpose-built, leading edge precinct in central Christchurch.

  • Better outcomes for Māori – improving how our justice system operates for Māori, through such efforts as exploring partnerships with iwi/Māori to design and deliver interventions that better address the needs of Māori, and making better use of our data to understand where and how we can improve services and build evidence about what works.

  • Reducing family violence – Corrections has taken an active role in this initiative, working with agencies across the Justice Sector to reduce family violence. Corrections is the lead agency of the perpetrator work stream of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence, working to determine the optimum mix of services available to respond to perpetrators, as well as contributing to the design of a cross-agency system to more effectively identify and assess them. The work will also improve access to interventions for perpetrators and whānau, and ensure that interventions match the risks and needs of perpetrators to more effectively reduce harm. We also support the Ministry of Justice led review of the Domestic Violence Act 1995 and the subsequent proposed changes to legislation. These changes will see a greater ability for agencies to provide meaningful interventions for perpetrators and victims at the earliest opportunity, increased information sharing to keep victims safe, improved access to civil orders (such as protection and property orders) and additional criminal offences to reflect the harm caused by family violence.

The Justice Sector Leadership Board

To help us to work better together we have formed the Justice Sector Leadership Board. The Board includes:

  • Secretary for Justice (chair)
  • Commissioner, NZ Police
  • Chief Executive, Department of Corrections
  • Chief Executive, Serious Fraud Office
  • Solicitor-General, Crown Law Office

The Leadership Board is responsible for ensuring that we achieve our collective goals, including our Better Public Services targets. They coordinate major change programmes and oversee planning to improve services, reduce harm, reduce the number of people in the criminal justice system, maintain institutions and manage investment. The Leadership Board is supported by the Sector Group within the Ministry of Justice.

Justice Sector Fund

The Justice Sector Fund (JSF) was created in April 2012, and is a way for the Justice Sector to share savings and generate financial flexibility to invest in areas that deliver the best results. Through the JSF we can use the money saved by one agency to fund effective initiatives within another agency, providing for a more flexible, inter-agency approach to reducing crime and re-offending.

By June 2016, the JSF had been used to fund 56 initiatives, including 16 specifically for Corrections. In total, $253 million of savings from the Justice Sector have been reallocated through the JSF. Examples include the review of family violence laws, expanding the use of restorative justice, reintegration programmes for people released from prison and installing audio-visual links between courts and prisons to improve public and prisoner safety.

Applications for funding from the JSF are required to show that the funded initiative will contribute to one or both of the following:

  • reducing crime and re-offending, and advance our key result areas
  • assist the sector to modernise and become more cost effective; spending more now in order to spend less in the future.

One of the main goals of the JSF is to allow new initiatives to be trialled and assessed. Once it has been shown that they are effective, they are able to seek long term funding through the annual Budget process.

Our role in the Social Sector

Corrections and Social Sector agencies deal with some of the same people. Corrections is working with the Social Sector to ensure that we have cohesive action plans and processes in place to help these people, whether it be in Child, Youth and Family, Work and Income or in prison.

Corrections contributes to the following work within the Social Sector:

> Children’s Action Plan & Vulnerable Children Act 2014

We are part of a cross-agency effort to prevent child abuse and neglect as required by the Children’s Action Plan & Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

> Youth Crime Action Plan

In order to support the BPS target to reduce youth offending, Corrections has been working alongside Justice and Social Sector colleagues in the development and implementation of the Youth Crime Action Plan (YCAP). We continue to be involved at the working group level to refresh the actions and to consider how YCAP sits alongside the work of the Investing in Children Programme, as well as in the steering group and the governance group. Through our involvement we have also contributed to the development of the youth justice minimum dataset.

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