Introduction from the Chief Executive
There is so much we can do to help people turn away from a life of violence and crime. To reduce re-offending by 25 percent by 2017, we will do more to address the underlying causes of crime: illiteracy, joblessness, homelessness, addiction, mental illness, and health issues. We will provide people with reading and writing skills, help them learn a trade to enable them to secure employment, provide programmes that will help them with drug and alcohol addiction, and ensure their health issues are diagnosed and managed.
There will always be those who are not ready to change and who pose a serious risk to the community. We will do everything we can to protect the public from these people. We will ensure our prisons are secure, and that offenders are given every opportunity to take part in rehabilitation programmes and interventions. For offenders who are preparing for release, we will ensure they have the support they need for their return to the community. If they are high-risk, we will use Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to monitor them, and our probation staff will keep in close contact with them, to ensure they adhere to the conditions of their release.
We will provide more opportunities for community-based offenders, those on remand, and those serving short sentences, to address drug and alcohol issues, and to have access to work and basic skills training.
We are reaching out to those around us who can help. At a national level, we are working closely with other Government agencies and organisations that share our goal of reducing re-offending. At a local level, we are connecting with people and groups in the community who can support offenders through employment opportunities, housing, and rehabilitation.
There will be new training programmes for our staff to help them make a difference in offenders’ lives every day. The training for new custodial staff will be more comprehensive, and existing custodial staff will receive additional training to make every contact count. Probation staff training is being expanded to include a wider range of interventions and relapse prevention techniques to help community offenders stay on track. In addition, there is a significant training programme underway to support our managers in their leadership, and to recognise and develop emerging leaders at Corrections.
I am committed to reducing assaults on staff by 50 percent over the next two years. To focus on the most effective ways to protect our staff, we have called on experts outside the organisation as well as using the knowledge of our own staff.
We have the opportunity to do a lot of good here, and we have the people with the skills and commitment to make it happen.
Chief Executive’s statement of responsibility
In signing this statement, I acknowledge that I am responsible for the information contained in the Statement of Intent for the Department of Corrections. This information has been prepared in accordance with the Public Finance Act 1989. It is also consistent with the proposed appropriations set out in the Appropriations (2013/14 Estimates) Bill, as presented to the House of Representatives in accordance with section 13 of the Public Finance Act 1989, and with existing appropriations and financial authorities.