Better public value

Creating lasting changes in people’s lives doesn’t come cheap. But stopping people from re-offending is the best investment we can make. Not only does it reduce the financial costs by not having to manage a repeat offender for many years, it also reduces the human cost of further victims. On top of this, if people have a job then they’re able to give back and contribute to a community that they took so much from.

1. Commercial partners

By 2015, approximately 25% of Corrections’ core custodial work will be managed under contract in the private sector. Serco took over the running of Mt Eden Corrections Facility in 2011 and will operate the new men’s prison in Wiri currently being constructed as a Public Private Partnership.

Having a commercial partner provides a benchmark for us to compare ourselves to in terms of safety, security, recidivism outcomes, efficiency and staff culture.

The long run performance of New Zealand’s prison system will be enhanced by the competition for ideas that this environment creates. The quarterly Prisons Performance League Tables allow us to compare results and learn from those high performing teams.

2. Justice Sector Partners

Nearly 22,000 people work in the justice sector and approximately $4 billion per year is spent ensuring justice services are delivered. The Better Public Service results the justice sector is charged with delivering – reducing crime and reducing re-offending – require Police, Courts and Corrections to work together for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

Initiatives like the Hutt Valley local solutions to justice programme are a model for the rest of the country of how we can work together to make real change on the ground.

The opening of the New Plymouth Police Station, which includes a Corrections Remand Centre, our investment in the rebuild of Christchurch with the development of a Justice Sector Precinct housing all justice services, along with the $30 million expansion of Audio Visual Link (AVL) facilities between prisons and courts, are all tangible examples of a sector working together.

3. Modernising Services

Many of our community probation facilities are unsatisfactory and don’t support results-focused delivery. That’s why we’re committed to a four year community corrections development programme that will bring our community-based services together into modern facilities.

At the same time, we are increasing the options for mobility with the rollout of smart cellphone technology and the introduction of tablets where they make sense. The progressive upgrade of desktop applications and our core IOMS platform continues to ensure we can get more value from the systems we all use every day.

We will continue our significant investment in our facilities, e.g. seismic work underway across many sites, the redevelopment of Auckland East, our maximum security facility, and major redevelopment projects at Tongariro/Rangipo, Invercargill, Rolleston and Whanganui Prisons.

4. Expenditure Review (Phase II)

Corrections continues to play its part in supporting the Government’s fiscal plans by living within our baseline funding and delivering savings.

The first phase of the Expenditure Review yielded total savings of $103 million through reducing our corporate costs (like travel and the use of contractors or consultants), closing our “end of life” prison facilities and restructuring the Department’s leadership structure into a one team model.

This year we will begin Phase II of the Expenditure Review as we continue to look for areas to make savings that ensure better public value for the taxpayer and allow us to continue to deliver for communities and our staff.