Foreword - Minister of Corrections
New Zealand’s crime rate is at its lowest in 30 years, and the number of people in our courts and prisons is decreasing. With its primary goal of reducing re-offending, the Department of Corrections is making a significant contribution to this achievement.
Last year the Government set Corrections a bold target – to reduce re-offending by 25 percent by 2017. Already the Department has achieved a reduction of nine percent, and we can expect to see a further reduction as more initiatives from the comprehensive programme of work bear fruit.
The Government is continuing the drive for better public services. For Corrections, this means working alongside New Zealand Police, the Ministry of Justice and other government agencies to make their combined service as effective as possible. It means working with service providers to ensure they produce results and provide value for money. New technology will be used to track offenders and systems such as CCTV and alarms introduced to provide greater protection to staff. Laptops and cellphones will also allow staff to be more mobile. Facilities will be improved to ensure they are fit-forpurpose and able to support rehabilitation outcomes for offenders.
I want Corrections to take local approaches to reduce re-offending. Communities know their people; they know what works and what doesn’t work. Corrections will engage more with communities to find local solutions that will help offenders to turn their lives around and become a contributing member of their community.
Staff must be able to operate in a safe environment without fear of injury. The dangerous, violent people are not going to go away, but there is more that can be done to protect staff, and I look forward to seeing the changes that will be introduced as part of the Staff Safety Action Plan.
Everything the Department of Corrections does is about ensuring the safety of the people of New Zealand. That is the bottom line. The Department has the opportunity to reduce re-offending and make New Zealand a better place to live in. Working with its justice sector partners, I know that Corrections will ably play its part in reducing crime.
Hon Anne Tolley
Minister of Corrections