$355.6m funding boost for Corrections
New operating funding of $355.6 million over the next four years will ensure that Corrections can cope with a rising prison population, maintain public safety and reduce reoffending, Corrections Minister Judith Collins says.
Despite progress in reducing crime and improving public safety, the number of prisoners has increased faster than expected. The prison population exceeded 9,400 in April and is forecast to reach 9,800 by December this year.
The Budget funding includes $290.6 million for Corrections to address the growth in the prison population. That investment will enable Corrections to meet the rising costs of running prisons – including existing custodial services and the ongoing funding for additional places in the prison network.
Budget 2016 also provides additional funding for services to protect the public and reduce reoffending. This includes:
- $20 million for the continuation of Out-of-Gate reintegration services. This supports offenders at a particularly vulnerable time when they leave the controlled routine of prison and return to the community.
- $12 million to manage offenders returning from overseas. The Government is now managing more returning offenders than before – this funding will be used to manage them effectively.
- $8.8 million to continue the 24-hour GPS electronic monitoring for the highest-risk offenders and improve the electric monitoring assurance framework.
“Sorting out the basics such as accommodation, employment, education and training means offenders are less likely to commit further crime,” Ms Collins says.
“The safety of the public is a key government priority. Having proper support and oversight in the community goes a long way towards stopping people reoffending.
“This Government is focused on keeping the public safe and reducing crime. Budget 2016 addresses volume pressures as well as targeting investment in services shown to reduce reoffending.”
In total the justice sector receives $837 million over the next four years, plus $56 million in 2015/16.