Statement of Intent 2014-2018
Introduction from the Chief Executive
Each year, the Department of Corrections sets out for Parliament and the public what our primary focus will be in this, our Statement of Intent.
As it happens, our intent has been steadfast for many years now. We have always held fast to two very strong priorities – to keep the people of New Zealand safe from those who pose a risk, and to make every effort to rehabilitate those in our care. What has changed is our ability to adapt and refocus as an organisation in order to achieve these priorities. Corrections’ goal is to achieve a 25 percent reduction in re-offending by 2017 and in order to achieve this target we are transforming the way we work. Much has been done already, but 2014 is going to be a pivotal year as we begin to see the results of a number of ground-breaking initiatives and programmes aimed at turning people’s lives around.
Essential building work at Corrections sites across the country will ensure we have Community Corrections sites and prisons that meet the needs of a modern corrections service. First and foremost they must be secure; but they must also be places that encourage rehabilitation. Offenders need to be able to participate in employment, training, drugs and alcohol and life skills programmes that will help them turn away from crime. These needs will be met by the refurbishments underway at a number of existing sites and in the new men’s prison that is taking shape at Wiri.
The improvements we are making to our prisons and community sites will also enhance the safety of our people. In 2013 we launched a Staff Safety Plan in response to several serious assaults by prisoners on our staff. The plan is underpinned by a zero-tolerance for violence stance and touches all areas of our operation as well as the personal safety of staff outside work. We have already seen a drop in serious assaults and as we move into 2014, we will all play our part to ensure our workplaces are safe and violence-free environments, even though we work with the most dangerous people in the country.
Central to our work this year across our four regions will be a commitment to education, reducing youth offending, addressing mental and physical health needs, employment and increased support for people leaving prison or in the community. We will continue to reach out to community groups, employers and agencies that can help us make a difference.
At a national level, the next phase of our Expenditure Review will examine in detail how we can reach our reducing re-offending targets and function at a high-level within our existing baseline funding.
Our commitment to reducing crime is a shared commitment, and together with our partners in the justice sector we will work with offenders to break the cycle of their offending, always keeping victims and the safety of the public at the front of our minds.
Chief Executive’s statement of responsibility
In signing this statement, I acknowledge that I am responsible for the information contained in the Statement of Intent for the Department of Corrections. This information has been prepared in accordance with the Public Finance Act 1989. It is also consistent with the proposed appropriations set out in the Estimate of Appropriations 2014/15, and with existing appropriations and financial authorities.
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