Budget 2017 invests $81.8 million of new operating funding over four years to help manage offenders serving sentences in the community and to improve prisoner rehabilitation, Corrections Minister Louise Upston says.
$51.6 million in funding will enable Community Corrections to increase its resources to manage the growing number and complexity of community-based offenders, and support the Parole Board and the judiciary to make informed risk-based sentences and decisions.
“Probation officers use higher intensity forms of managing offenders, such as Extended Supervision Orders and complex parole conditions. As well, many offenders have mental health and substance dependency issues. We are also managing a higher prison population and we need to be prepared and have the resources to manage these people when they are released,” Ms Upston says.
Budget 2017 will also invest $30.2 million of new operating funding over four years to improve services and opportunities for prisoners in the areas of mental health, industry, treatment and learning.
“We are committed to reducing reoffending through interventions in prison aimed at addressing the drivers of crime, drug and alcohol abuse and violence. This includes effective industry, treatment and learning interventions. We want prisoners in Corrections’ care to be better equipped for life in the community when they come out,” Ms Upston says.
“Corrections will expand and enhance four of its most effective intervention groups – education, alcohol and drug treatment services, intensive rehabilitation treatment for offenders with a history of violent offending, and reintegration support for offenders when they leave prison.”