Budget 2012: $65m on reducing reoffending

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

The Government has revealed it will spend $65 million in the upcoming Budget on reducing criminal reoffending.

Corrections Minister Anne Tolley and Associate Corrections Minister Dr Pita Sharples said the 'reprioritised' operational funding was aimed at reducing reoffending by 25 per cent by 2017.

It would go towards alcohol and drug treatment, increased education, skills training and employment programmes for prisoners.

Mrs Tolley said the funding would mean 18,500 fewer victims of crime and 600 less prisoners in jail in 2017 than last year.

"It's time to get serious about breaking this vicious cycle of prison and reoffending.

"Offenders need to be made accountable for their crimes. But while they are in prison and upon their release, we must do more to rehabilitate, and then reintegrate, if they are to avoid a return to crime."

Dr Sharples said represented a shift towards the rehabilitation and restoration of prisoners to their wh?nau and communities.

"This is a more humane response to offending, and it is cheaper and more effective. Simply sentencing more and more people to longer terms of imprisonment is not sustainable."

Increasing the funding for alcohol and drug treatment and prisoner education helped
address the "drivers of crime", Dr Sharples said.

"These offenders can go on to contribute to society, and by staying away from crime there will be fewer victims, as well as reduced pressure on the justice sector pipeline - and that means a better and more efficient service."

- Herald online

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