Re-addressing the balance

The articles in this edition of the journal make it clear that Corrections remains true to its vision of “creating lasting change” and is continuing to succeed with the people Corrections manages. The articles demonstrate commitment to embracing change, trying new ways of working, and building knowledge – and systems– that challenge old assumptions while improving current practice.

I found in these articles a strong understanding of the relationship between practice and theory; our practice forms a critical part of our research, and our best practice is based on solid evidence.

It is particularly encouraging to see a strong focus on women who have offended in this edition. Like other jurisdictions across the world, we are experiencing a rapid rise in the number of women serving sentences. We recently launched Wāhine – E Rere Ana ki te Pae Hou: Women’s Strategy 2017 – 2021 (women rising above a new horizon) so it’s pleasing to see Hannah McGlue’s article exploring the development of this.

The strategy aims to improve outcomes for women by working in more gender-responsive ways to begin to address the imbalance in opportunities. I feel the article skillfully explains why women need a strategy and how it relates to the reality of their lives.

The focus on women continues with Marianne Bevan’s in-depth study of case management practice for women. Guided by the Corrections Integrated Practice Framework, this article introduces five principles for working with women based on lessons learnt.

In the July 2017 journal, the previous editor remarked that Corrections traditionally distinguished between two domains of activity relating to reducing the risk of re-offending: the rehabilitative and reintegrative. Most would accept that the reintegrative domain has traditionally been the poor cousin to rehabilitation – but no longer: Diane Hallot and Madeline Patterson have created a professionally run and much expanded suite of reintegration services with excellent quality assurance. Many of our reintegration services are delivered by service providers, and they’ve been working alongside us to improve outcomes for the people they serve.

I’m sure you will agree that the article line-up is impressive, and I hope this issue of the journal helps you link theory to your practice, enriches your working life and makes you more effective with the offenders you manage.

Stephen Cunningham
Director Offender Employment and Reintegration Department of Corrections