By 2017, we will have reduced levels of re-offending by 25 percent and New Zealand will be a safer place. This will mean 600 fewer prisoners re-imprisoned one year after release and 4,000 fewer offenders being reconvicted within a year of beginning their community-based sentence. This will translate to 18,500 fewer victims of crime. The Department of Corrections will be a world leader, using innovative approaches that effectively reduce re-offending.
Over the next three years we will make significant progress to achieving this goal. More offenders will leave the Corrections system having overcome their drug and alcohol problems and having addressed their offending behaviours. They will have improved literacy and numeracy skills, have attained better levels of education, have gained practical skills and more people will have found work on release.
While in prison, offenders will be supported to make a difference in their own lives, taking ownership of organising their time and becoming responsible for day-to-day tasks. This means they will leave our prisons better equipped to manage their own lives, and more aware of the consequences of their actions and inactions.
Offenders in the community will be supported to lead law-abiding lives, and will have more opportunities to address their offending behaviour. Probation Officers will provide interventions to build life skills and motivation, and support will be available for offenders who feel their lives are taking a ‘wrong turn’.
We will work side by side with iwi and Maori communities to rehabilitate and reintegrate Maori offenders. Maori success in rehabilitation, education and employment programmes will remain comparable with non-Maori offenders. Interventions targeted at Maori offenders will show increased levels of success and provide a tikanga Maori reintegrative environment.
Our staff will seek local solutions to local problems, finding unique and innovative ways to address the varied needs of the offenders we manage. Frontline staff across the Department will work together to provide motivation and encouragement and create lasting change in the lives of offenders.
We will bring together our non-government and community partners, work with them to set mutual goals, learn from each others’ strengths, share capability and deliver results. In particular, working more closely than ever before with our justice sector partners will
be crucial in enabling us to make a real difference in the lives of offenders.
We will undertake our work more efficiently and effectively as we embrace new technologies in our day-to-day business, and find better and smarter ways to operate. At the same time, we will introduce more consistency into the work we do to keep the public safe. Our prisons will be more secure, and our levels of escape and contraband will remain extremely low.