Annual Report 2018/19

Download the full Annual Report 2018/19 PDF, 7.8 MB

Chief Executive's overview

The past few years have been defined by change and growth at Corrections. The prison population rapidly grew, compelling us to reconsider how we operate. I am pleased to say we successfully made the changes needed to continue working safely: we increased our physical capacity, delivered more services more effectively, and recruited more frontline staff than we ever have before.

The 2018/19 financial year saw the prison population stabilise. This in itself is an achievement – we have been successful in maximising safe alternatives to prison where appropriate and advancing the Government’s goal of reducing the prison population by 30 percent over the next 15 years.

Nevertheless, we realise that we must do more. This year we set the foundations of a new transformation programme which aims to create a more people-centric corrections system. At the heart of this programme is our recognition that Māori must be central to change and that change should be made with Māori, not imposed upon them.

This will take time: time to listen to those who have been disadvantaged by the current system; time to understand their needs; and time to build and implement the systemic changes required. We hope our long-term focus on transformation will eventually dismantle some of the factors that have led to the inequalities experienced by Māori in the criminal justice system.

This year, we produced Hōkai Rangi, our most detailed strategy for delivering great outcomes with and for Māori. We commenced work with iwi, hapū, Te Puni Kōkiri, and the Ministry of Social Development on a new kaupapa Māori pathway in prison. We launched Te Waireka, a residential reintegration programme for women as our first ‘by Māori for Māori’ service. And we strengthened our mental health and addiction services.

Budget 2019 was an important milestone for Corrections. For example, Corrections received an additional $127.5 million over four years to employ more mental health clinicians and expand our addiction treatment and aftercare services. We also started work on our new facility at Waikeria Prison that will include 100 dedicated mental health beds.

Corrections’ transformation needs to be viewed within the context of the broader justice system. This year, Te Uepū Hāpai i te Ora - the Safe and Effective Justice Advisory Group - released their first report, He Waka Roimata, which outlines the ways the criminal justice system is failing to meet the needs of New Zealanders, most notably minorities. Importantly, the report ends with a sense of optimism. While it is clear that there are issues that must be addressed, there are solutions.

At Corrections, we are undertaking our own transformation in search of those solutions, while also contributing to sector-wide change. We are collaborating with our partners and the general public to find solutions to our shared issues.

I must also acknowledge and thank those who worked every day in incredibly important business-as- usual roles. Throughout the year almost 10,000 people worked at Corrections, living its values of Rangatira (leadership), Wairua (spirituality), Whānau (relationships), Kaitiaki (guardianship), and Manaaki (respect).

Our staff managed around 10,000 people in prison and 30,000 people with a community-based sentence or order at any given time, delivered 8,900 rehabilitation programme places in prison and in the community, helped 2,017 prisoners to obtain qualifications, supported 2,327 offenders into employment and undertook well over 100,000 medical consultations in prisons. These statistics are often overlooked but cannot be understated. I am proud to lead Corrections – I am proud of our staff and the mahi they do, proud of where we are today and excited about where we are heading.

Christine Stevenson
Chief Executive
Department of Corrections Ara Poutama Aotearoa