Initiatives to reduce crime and reoffending have been made possible through smart fiscal management by justice sector agencies, says Justice Minister Amy Adams.
The Justice Sector Fund allows money saved in one justice sector agency to be used in another. Since its establishment in 2012, it has distributed $257 million of savings into 60 initiatives across the justice sector.
“These savings are one of the untold success stories of the National-led Government. The $257 million of savings made by five of the agencies in the justice sector has been reinvested through the Justice Sector Fund, ensuring taxpayer dollars go further,” says Ms Adams.
“The Justice Sector Fund backs projects that support the Government’s Better Public Service targets of reducing crime and reoffending, and allows agencies to trial new initiatives that deliver better results for New Zealanders.”
Key initiatives include:Expanding the use of audio-visual links between courts and prisons to improve public and prisoner safety A suite of initiatives to increase the safety of family violence victims, reduce their risk of re-victimisation and make services more responsive to victims’ individual needs The Department of Corrections’ Out of Gate programme, a post-release support service for offenders that has been shown to reduce the rate of reconvictions by five per cent Funding for the Investment Approach to Justice to help agencies involved in crime prevention make better informed decisions for maximum impact Specialist fingerprint equipment to detect drug crime, which allows New Zealand Police to improve collection of fingerprints from traditionally difficult surfaces, such as currency and fabric Iwi panels, a form of alternative resolution that involves iwi and Māori organisations in responding to low-level offending, and addressing factors related to offending A mental health service across prisons and some Community Corrections sites, which will improve the stability of offenders’ mental health and reduce their risk of reoffending Supporting the establishment of the Gangs Intelligence Centre, which combines information held by different government agencies to build detailed intelligence about activities of gang members and prospects A road safety intervention package for repeat drink driving offenders including alcohol interlocks (which prevent a vehicle from being operated while the driver is under the influence of alcohol).
Once initiatives have shown they are effective at reducing crime and reoffending they are able to seek long term funding through the annual Budget process.