Introduction from the Chief Executive
This year’s Statement of Intent (SOI) is being released against the back drop of a very different environment to the one we worked in a year ago.
This time last year we were in the midst of restructuring head office so that we could better meet the challenges of the future. A similar process had started in Prison Services. The Department was addressing prisoner numbers through its contribution to the Effective Interventions initiatives including the proposed stand-alone Home and Community Detention sentences, completion of the Regional Prisons Development Programme and an ongoing recruitment campaign for frontline staff.
The Department was also cooperating with the Office of the Ombudsmen with its Own Motion Investigation into Prisoner Transport and the Ombudsmen’s Report into the Criminal Justice Sector. I had also instigated the independent investigation into allegations of corruption at Rimutaka Prison. We were also looking very carefully into how we could improve our reporting to the New Zealand Parole Board.
At the same time we saw fewer escapes, increased detection of contraband, increased prisoner employment and education, the launching of new and effective initiatives to help offenders reintegrate back into the community, a much improved prisoner escort and transport system, the opening of new drug treatment units and addiction services, and the additional initiatives designed specifically to reduce the rate of recidivism of Māori and Pacific offenders.
This year’s SOI is in fact the Department’s response to all of these factors and the emerging trends we have identified looking forward. It outlines how we are going to apply the lessens learnt, the changes that need to be made as a consequence, the further steps we are going to take to address the issues which are still with us and how we are going to further develop the initiatives that are working well.
Corrections continually strives to improve its performance and this year’s SOI sets out in detail the work the Department will do over the next three years to contribute to its five outcomes.
- Compliance with sentences and orders is ensured.
- Re-offending is reduced.
- Victims of crime are supported.
- Offenders are managed safely and humanely.
- Sentence options are used effectively.
Over-arching these outcomes is Corrections’ vision: Improving public safety by ensuring sentence compliance and reducing re-offending, through capable staff and effective partnerships.
The Statement of Intent is consistent with the 2008-13 Strategic Business Plan which many of Corrections’ staff have contributed to during the past year.
The Strategic Business Plan outlines the vision and outcomes for the Department, identifies priorities for our work and explains what we hope to achieve over the next five years.
A key indicator of a successful organisation is one where every staff member understands how their role fits into the organisation as a whole and how it helps the organisation meet its outcomes.
Staff who understand the Business Plan very quickly make the link between their day-to-day work and the Department’s vision and I’m pleased to say that many have had input into the 2008-2013 Business Plan.
Alongside the Strategic Business Plan, the Department has surveyed its 7,500 staff members to understand better the features they most value in a work environment and to look at how we can improve that environment to support our successes.
The Statement of Intent and Strategic Business Plan provides a sound framework for Corrections’ staff to refer to as they work with some of this country’s most challenging individuals.
I admire greatly the work they do to improve public safety while managing offenders safely and humanely and encouraging them to address their offending, learn new skills and successfully reintegrate back into the community.
I look forward to leading the Department as we move forward to achieve the outcomes set out in this document.