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Information for returning offenders

Kia ora. Greetings.

As a recent arrival in New Zealand you may be unfamiliar with the Department of Corrections and what we do.  This sheet covers our role in the justice sector and how we will work with you while you are subject to your supervision order.

We appreciate your return may not have been voluntarily and that settling in somewhere unfamiliar may be difficult. But don’t worry!

Our first priority is to get to know you, and help you sort out somewhere to live, income support if needed and practical networks to help you settle in safely.

A bit about Corrections

The Department of Corrections manages people serving sentences and orders all over New Zealand. Each week we manage 8,500 people in prisons and 30,000 offenders in our communities. Our 8,000 staff are committed to supporting offenders to help them address their offending and gain skills that will help them lead a crime-free life.

Our goal is to reduce re-offending by 25% by 2017.

It’s our job to protect the public by ensuring sentences and orders are properly managed and the rules followed. That keeps you out of trouble – and prevents harm coming to others. It’s our job to manage your supervision order and keep you on track.

People you’ll meet

You’ll work most closely with a probation officer based in a Community Corrections office. Your probation officer will ensure you understand what you must do (and must not do) to comply with your supervision order.  They are here to help you, so keep in touch.

You may also meet with a Corrections psychologist if required.

If you are subject to electronic monitoring you may have contact with contractors who install and fit the equipment and respond to alerts.

Privacy/Confidentiality

As part of our work we will collect information about you to help keep you and others safe. The Privacy Act 1993 sets out how we can use and share information about you.

Your probation officer can give you more information about this. 

Working together

As part of your supervision you may be required to report to your probation officer regularly at a time and place they will set out for you in an Instruction to Report (ITR).

If you don’t report as instructed your probation officer will take action that could see you taken back to court.

You may also be required to take rehabilitation programmes or treatment, such as for alcohol and other drug counselling. Addressing these issues will help you settle in safely. 

Practical support

Your successful reintegration is important for you and your new community.

We will introduce you to agencies who can help you when you need it. For instance, Work and Income (part of the Ministry of Social Development) and Prisoners’ Aid (PARS) and other community organisations are available to help you set up a bank account, IRD (tax) numbers, seek work and organise benefit support.