Foreword - Minister of Corrections
The work of the Department of Corrections is incredibly varied. Whether managing people in the community or in prison, there is one underlying reason for the work we do – public safety. Secure containment of prisoners, rehabilitation programmes, drug and alcohol treatment, industry training, education and support ahead of release all help keep communities safe, and public safety will always be the bottom line.
In 2015-2016 the Reducing Reoffending by 25% Boost Programme will support Corrections to achieve its goal of reducing reoffending by investing in the resources where we can make the most difference. This includes a focus on the more than 5900 prisoners each year serving short (two years or less) terms of imprisonment and the more than 14000 offenders beginning community work sentences. Within these groups there will be a particular focus on family violence offenders, those with drug and alcohol problems and recidivist traffic offenders.
In particular, Corrections will:
- Continue the Out of Gate service to help offenders make a safe and supported transition on their release from prison
- Develop a package of alcohol and drug interventions that tailor intensity to different levels of risk and need
- Provide domestic violence and alcohol and drug education to all new short-serving sentenced prisoners
- Match more prisoners to jobs on release from prison through the employer partnership programme
- Invest more in supported accommodation for released prisoners who are at higher risk of reoffending
- Deliver road safety training through the work and living skills programme for thousands of community based offenders who have driving-related offences.
I will work alongside other stakeholder ministers to ensure Corrections wraps its services around offenders and their families to ultimately reduce the level of reoffending and make our communities safer.
Offender education and helping offenders into jobs reduces their risk of reoffending. Corrections will increase the total learner places available to prisoners by 90 per cent to 1700 this year.
Since becoming Minister of Corrections in October 2014 I have visited prisons and Community Corrections sites to see for myself how our policies work on a practical level. This is very important to me because no matter how earnest our strategic intent and objectives, they will not translate into the outcomes we want to achieve without the support and willingness of our staff, volunteers and partners on the front line of Corrections.
I reaffirm the government’s commitment to the Better Public Services target of reducing reoffending by 25 per cent by 2017 and look forward to supporting Corrections’ progress towards this goal.
Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga
Minister of Corrections