Appropriation - Sentences and Orders Served in the Community

This appropriation is limited to the management and delivery of sentences and orders served in the community and the electronic monitoring of people on bail.


Corrections manages home detention sentences, which are imposed by the courts and require the offender to reside at an approved address under strict conditions and monitoring, sometimes including electronic monitoring (EM).

Corrections also manages offenders in the community, including those serving community work sentences, community detention, supervision and intensive supervision orders.

Post-release conditions are also managed by Corrections. Post-release conditions are imposed by the courts at the time of sentencing for prisoners with short sentences. It also includes parole orders imposed by the New Zealand Parole Board (NZPB) and extended supervision orders imposed by the courts, with additional special conditions set by the NZPB to actively manage the risks posed by high-risk violent and/or sexual offenders in the community.

Corrections also manages offenders on electronic monitoring, which can include those monitored as a condition of bail while awaiting a court hearing (EM Bail) and those serving community-based sentences.

Corrections ensures the effective and safe management of offenders in the community through the use of Standards of Practice for probation officers. These are unique to each sentence or order and set the expected level of service, monitoring and compliance required for each offender.


The integrity of sentences and orders is maintained when offenders in the community comply with and complete their sentences and orders and are held to account if they do not. This is a key facet in public safety, which is always our bottom line.

Compliance is achieved when offenders follow all directives and restrictions inherent to the sentence or order (such as attendance at programmes, non-association orders, residential or employment restrictions), experience appropriate consequences in the event of non-compliance and complete the imposed sentence or order.

Any failure by an offender to adhere to a requirement of the sentence is considered to be non-compliance. This could include failure to report as instructed, breaking a curfew, or failure to notify Corrections of an address change.

Activity informationActual volumeActual volumeActual volumeActual volumeBudget volumeForecast volume
The average number of home detention sentences being served2,8542,9472,8272,8932,700 - 3,0002,800 - 3,000
The average number of community-based sentences being served      
- Supervision8,2437,7517,3007,597  
- Intensive supervision2,4642,3812,5772,867  
- Community work17,70215,82515,96315,014  
- Community detention Sentence1,9501,7191,6551,600  
Total30,35927,76727,49527,07826,500 - 29,50026,000 - 29,000
The average number of post-release orders being served      
- Post-release conditions3,3503,2773,2183,581  
- Parole/residential restrictions2,3602,4042,4282,301  
- Extended supervision207218226215  
Total5,9175,8995,8726,0975,400 - 5,7005,444
The total number of new home detention sentences commenced3,5273,3403,2533,4733,300 - 3,5003,300 - 3,500
The total number of new community-based sentences commences54,56149,01846,46344,80547,000 - 49,00048,325
The total number of new post-release orders commenced5,9995,7795,9516,4205,700 - 6,0005,403

The average number of offenders in the community has remained relatively stable at approximately 36,000, however the mix of this grouping has been shifting over time with home detention, supervision orders and post release orders increasing in the past year.

The shift in the number of offenders serving different sentences and orders is largely due to offenders committing crimes of a more serious nature, who therefore require additional resources for monitoring and rehabilitation. Upon release, these same offenders are generally given additional conditions from the New Zealand Parole Board.

Sentence types by average number of offenders

Community detention1,7701,9501,7191,6551,600
Community work20,89217,70215,82515,96315,014
Extended supervision192207218226215
Intensive supervision2,5312,4642,3812,5772,867
Home detention1,4691,6101,6181,5571,620
Post detention conditions1,2241,2441,3291,2701,273
Parole/residential restrictions2,3032,3602,4042,4282,301
Post release conditions3,4733,3503,2773,2183,581
Compassionate release00112
EM bail---161430
Returning offender orders----172*

* An average number has not been used given Returning Offender Orders came into effect in late 2015. Consequently numbers are stated as at 30 June 2016.

Electronic Monitoring bail (EM Bail)
Activity informationActual volumeActual volumeActual volumeActual volumeBudget volumeForecast volume
The number of new EM Bail conditions imposed3New for 2014392814966750 - 8001,400
The average number of EM Bail conditions3New for 2014273335419300 - 350600

Corrections has continued to see a rise in the average number of offenders subject to EM Bail conditions, which allows offenders to continue to live and work in the community while awaiting trial, rather than being held in custody.

There are a number of factors that have contributed to the increased use of EM Bail, including:

  • confidence from the Judiciary in the ability of Corrections to adequately monitor high-risk defendants through the use of Global Positioning System (GPS)
  • a reduction in the turnaround time for EM Bail Suitability Reports, from 15 to 10 working days
  • more information about what EM Bail is and how to apply for it is available to defendants in the custodial system
  • the number of applications made to the courts has increased
  • Child, Youth and Family have been promoting EM Bail to youth defendants.
Management and delivery of sentences and orders in the community
Assessment of performanceActual standardActual standardActual standardActual standardBudget standardBudget standard
Compliance with mandatory standards for home detention sentences496%94%95%88%≥98%N/A#
Compliance with mandatory standards for community-based sentences495%93%95%93%≥98%N/A#
Compliance with mandatory standards for post-release orders498%96%97%93%≥98%N/A#

For 2015/16 Corrections introduced technology which enables community-based staff to access real time information around standards that need to be met, which allows the Department to analyse performance at a more granular level than was possible in previous years.

Completion of standards can be impacted by offenders not attending appointments, which means that the probation officer is unable to meet the standard within the specified timeframe.

This provides useful information which aligns with the work we undertake and helps to identify where follow up work may be required. Using more real time data allows probation officers the ability to respond more quickly to non-compliance, which improves public safety and sentence accountability.


For the year ended 30 June 2016

Actual $000Actual $000Budget (unaudited) $000Supp. estimates (unaudited) $000Forecast* (unaudited) $000
Total revenue215,178207,426212,539210,887209,104
Total expenses213,723206,387212,539210,887209,104
Net surpluses1,4551,039---

* Forecast financial statements have been prepared using Budget Economic Fiscal Update (BEFU) 2016. The Sentences and Orders Served in the Community appropriation has been merged into a Multi-Category Appropriation called 'Public Safety is Improved' for 2017 in order to align the appropriations with Corrections' strategic outcomes.

The total expense for this appropriation was $206.4 million. The largest category of costs within this output class related to direct personnel expenditure. Other costs associated with this output class include property costs such as rent and utilities, vehicle costs and contract management costs including the electronic monitoring of offenders.

Refer to the chart below for the composition of total expenditure by major expense category.

Pie graph titled “Composition of total sentences and orders served in the community expenses”. Direct personnel costs $91.2m, 44%. Direct offender costs (includes contract payments for EM and extended supervision) $24.1m, 12%. Other direct costs $17.2m, 8%. IT costs $21.5m, 11%. Property costs $10.9m, 5%. Other overheads $41.5m, 20%.

Actual expenditure was $7.3 million lower than 2015 actuals, mainly due to:

  • one-off project costs in 2015 associated with the transfer of all EM services to one provider
  • costs associated with the provision of information for EM Bail applications being reallocated to the Information and Administrative Services to the Judiciary and New Zealand Parole Board appropriation.

Actual expenditure was lower than Supp. estimates, mainly reflecting pre-approved in-principle expense transfers for Alcohol and Drug Testing of Offenders and Bailee’s in the Community, Management of Offenders Returning to New Zealand and Public Safety (Public Protection Orders).

3 Full transition of EM Bail operations from NZ Police was completed during January 2014, meaning 2015/16 was the first full year that Corrections was operationally responsible for EM monitoring. This has seen the number and average number of EM Bail conditions increase from 2013/14.

# This measure has been excluded from the 2016/17 budget and will not be reported in this section in 2017.

4 The mandatory standards indicators measure the expected level of service to be delivered by probation officers. Probation’s purpose is to contribute to safer communities by holding offenders to account and managing them to: comply with their sentences and orders, reduce their likelihood of re-offending and minimise their risk of harm to others. Each mandatory standard links to at least one of the three elements of probation’s purpose providing a rationale for that standard. A set of definitions is provided to probation officers to ensure consistency of understanding the application.

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