Foreword from the Minister of Corrections
The Government’s priorities for the Department of Corrections reflect its commitment to improved public safety, more effective prisoner rehabilitation, and obtaining the best value from the resources available.
The current social and fiscal costs of the criminal justice system cannot be sustained.
As the agency that manages the requirements of the sentences and orders of the law courts, the Department has a key role in achieving the Government’s objectives of less crime, safer communities and high public confidence in the justice sector.
The Department has shown that it is responsive to these objectives. Prisoner escapes and drug test results are at their best-ever levels. The number of prisoners receiving drug and alcohol rehabilitation has been doubled and work skills training provided to prisoners is being increased. Prison capacity has been increased cost-effectively.
A new approach to managing community sentences has resulted in improved sentence compliance. Private sector innovation and expertise at Mt Eden Corrections Facility and the proposed prison at Wiri will help raise standards of effectiveness and efficiency across the sector.
Looking ahead, the Department will continue to build on its achievements. Rehabilitation will target offenders with whom it has the greatest chance of success. Helping these offenders overcome the problems that lead them to commit crime will deliver long-term benefits to communities and relieve pressure on the justice sector.
It is also vital that the Department actively addresses the significant over-representation of Maori and Pacific offenders. Strengthening relationships between the Department and Maori groups that can assist with offender reintegration and education will be a priority.
The Department will also strengthen its partnerships with other government and non-governmental agencies to better co-ordinate and streamline offender management and to deliver improved outcomes for offenders and the New Zealand public.
I am delighted at what the Department has achieved in recent years. With strong leadership, improved processes, a clear focus and a growing confidence, the Department is well positioned to meet the challenges ahead.
The interests of victims of crime, the security of law-abiding citizens and a commitment to a better, safer New Zealand will continue to be at the heart of the Government’s priorities on law and order.
Hon Judith Collins