Strategic direction

The justice sector

Justice sector agencies work together to protect New Zealand’s laws and democracy and make the country safer. To do this, a wide range of actors are involved in providing services within the complex and interconnected civil system and criminal justice system. The diagram below highlights some of the government agencies involved. Other independent players include the judiciary, parole board and a number of scientific, technical and advocacy specialists.

Justice sector outcomes

A safe and just society

Safer communities

Civil and democratic rights and obligations enjoyed

Impact of crime reduced Offenders held to account Crime reduced Trusted justice system
Accessible justice system International connectedness Durable settlement of Treaty claims Effective constitiutional arrangements

Core sector agencies

Ministry of Justice New Zealand Police Department of Corrections
Ministry of Social Development
(Child, Youth & Families)
Crown Law Office Serious Fraud Office

Crown entities and other agencies

Electoral Commission

Electoral Enrolment Centre

Human Rights Commission Independent Police Conduct Authority Office of the Privacy Commissioner
Inspector-general of Intelligence and Security Law Commission Legal Services Agency New Zealand Council of Victim Support Groups

Justice sector Ministers have agreed the sector will be most effective when agencies work toward the same goals and agreed to an outcomes framework to drive an enduring focus for justice sector work. This recognises that, particularly in the criminal justice sector, there is a ‘pipeline’ and that there is a very strong impact and relationship between policing activities, the court process, legal representation and correctional services.

Justice sector Ministers have agreed to three Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure the criminal justice system’s effectiveness and efficiency. Justice sector agencies are developing ways to measure and report on the:

  • entry of people into the criminal justice system – to show the prevalence of crime and whether social and justice sector interventions are effective
  • time it takes for cases to proceed through the court system – to show where opportunities exist to improve the functioning and efficiency of the court system
  • rate of recidivism – to show the effectiveness of rehabilitation and reintegration services and existing sanctions.

To track progress, agency-specific and general measures at output, impact and outcome levels are being developed. Work is also underway to develop measures to help improve the system. Existing measures are in the justice sector agencies’ Statements of Intent and/or under relevant Votes in the Information Supporting the Estimates. All measures will be in Annual Reports in 2014.

Corrections’ role within the justice sector

As a key player in the justice sector, Corrections works to achieve two specific outcomes for New Zealand society:

  • public safety is improved
  • re-offending is reduced.

The following table illustrates these two outcomes, the specific impacts we want our work to have on society, and the outputs under which our day-to-day activities sit. The outcomes and impacts, and indicators to measure both, are described in the following sections. Information on each output, including performance measures, are outlined in the Appendix – Statement of Service Performance.

Public safety is improved Re-offending is reduced


  • The proportion of prisoners released on their lawfully required release date
  • The percentage of offenders who have complied or for whom enforcement action has been taken


  • Recidivism Index (reconviction, re-imprisonment and seriousness measure).


Integrity of sentences and orders is maintained and offenders are held to account The Judiciary and Parole Board make informed decisions Risks of harm to others are minimised Offenders' health and wellbeing is maintained Offenders have the skills and support to lead law-abiding lives


Prisoner escapes

Positive drug test by prisoners

Percentage of community offenders who have complied or for whom appropriate enforcement action has been taken


RE-offending on parole/HD

Improved reports to the Judiciary and Parole Board

All offenders notified as per NZPB requirements

All victims notified as per NZPB requirements

All cases to be heard by the NZPB being scheduled no later than 16 weeks from the date of the hearing




Serious prisoner assaults on staff

Serious prisoner assaults on prisoners

Measure to be developed about community offenders' risk of harm to the public


Unnatural deaths of prisoners

Other incidents of threat-to-life self-harm by prisoners

Complaints by prisoners to the Corrections inspectorate (general and about health services)

Measure to be developed about proportion of prisoners who have health needs who have been managed during their time in prison


RQ scores for individual programmes

Measure to be developed about stable employment

Measure to be developed about stable accommodation

Skills gained by prisoners (nationally recognised qulaifications, NQF credits and literacy gains)

Percentage of offenders who are assessed by CPS as less likely to re-offend at the six month point

Prison-based custodial services Sentences and Orders in the community Policy advice and ministerial services Management of third party custodial services Rehabilitation and reintegration Information and administration services to the Judiciary and the NZPB


  • Rate of prisoner escapes
  • Rate of prisoner assaults
  • Rate of unnatural deaths of prisoners
  • Rate of sel-harm incidents by prisoners
  • Percentage of prisoners with positive drug tests


  • Percentage of offenders who have complied with their sentence or order, or who have been held to account


  • Volume, quality and timeliness of work


  • Contract requirement standards met


  • Offender plan (quality and timeliness)
  • Starts, completions and compliance for rehabilitation and reintegration interventions
  • Increases in literacy and numeracy
  • Numbers of prisoners employed
  • Average number of credits achieved under the NQF
  • Percentage of Release to Work prisoners with secured employment on release
  • Total number of psychological hours and reports provided


  • Reports (quality and tiemliness)
  • Justified compaints from victims
  • Judiciary / Parole Board
  • Percentage of NZPB cases scheduled no later than 16 weeks from date of hearing

Supporting the two outcomes, we are focused on delivering public value and leadership. Underpinning all our work is the realisation that if we are to reduce re-offending, we need to reduce the over-representation of Maori in the offender population – to succeed overall we must succeed with Maori offenders.

Our Priorities

Public Safety

Keeping communities safe by ensuring offenders complete the sentences and orders handed down by our justice system and are held to account if they don’t. This will always be our bottom line.

Reducing Re-Offending

Cutting the rates of re-offending leaves fewer victims and adds significantly to the social well-being of our communities as offenders become productive members of our society. This is our ultimate goal.

Better Public Value

We face a challenging economic environment so our commitment is to achieve more with every taxpayer’s dollar, freeing up resources where we can, while improving our service responses.


Using our unique insights into offending behaviour, we must lead across the public service
and within the community sector, a programme of change that achieves our goals and those
of the communities we serve.