Taxpayers are spending more money on prisoners, yet violent crime continues to go up, National’s Corrections spokesperson Simon O’Connor says.
“New Zealand taxpayers are now spending $151,000 per prisoner, per year – an increase of over $30,000 per prisoner from 2018/19.
“Overall, there has been an increase of $139 million poured into the Corrections system over the period between 2018/19 and 2020/21, despite fewer prisoners.
“At the same time, there has been a steep decline in the number of prisoners accessing rehabilitation services. Prisoners accessing alcohol and drug programmes alone has dropped from 6311 in 2015/16 to 1065 in 2019/20 – a decrease greater than the drop in prisoner numbers.
“More money is being spent, but we’re getting worse outcomes.
“Rehabilitation is a key way for prisoners to turn their lives around, but in 2019/20 the number of prisoners taking part in rehabilitation programmes plummeted to 2399, from 5845 in 2015/16.
“It can hardly be a surprise then that violent crime is up 21 per cent since 2017, as reported by the Salvation Army, and that we have one of the highest recidivism rates in the OECD.
“This is typical for a Government who are experts at spending taxpayer money with no expectation of results.
“On top of this, Labour is taking soft-on-crime approach which is clearly not working.
“Without effective rehabilitation, re-imprisonment rates and violence will only keep climbing.”
Link to Written Parliamentary Question is here.