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Issued: Wednesday 31 August 2016
A $237 million investment in reducing reoffending will target persistent domestic violence defendants and other high-risk offenders and ensure that inmates serving sentences of six months or less for any crime participate in rehabilitation programs.
Minister for Corrections David Elliott said an additional 345 psychologists, community corrections officers and other skilled staff will be employed by Corrective Services NSW as part of the record spend on rehabilitation.
The reoffending strategy will expand participation in violence, addiction and sex offender programs for prisoners and parolees in the community, introduce one-on-one case management and intervention for priority DV defendants after they are charged but before they are sentenced, and improve training for staff.
It will also establish 10 high-intensity program units to deliver rehabilitation programs to about 1,200 prisoners each year serving short sentences of six months or less. These prisoners do not currently participate in programs to address their behaviour.
Higher-risk offenders will be subject to increased supervision at all stages of their sentence. There is also funding to improve exit planning and reintegration support such as housing and employment for offenders leaving prison on parole.
“This is part of the Government’s commitment to reduce the rate of adult reoffending by 5 per cent and also reduce domestic violence,” Mr Elliott said.
“I’ve said repeatedly that the reoffending rate in NSW is too high and this funding seeks to punish offenders for their crime, while simultaneously intervene to rehabilitate them and put them back on the right path.”
Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Severin said the reoffending strategy is a system-wide approach, which focuses on offenders who are responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime.
“Currently large numbers of higher-risk offenders are slipping through the gaps and may not participate in reoffending programs until they are in prison, because there is limited intervention available in the community.”
“Targeting this group earlier and at all points in their contact with the justice system will have the greatest impact on reoffending and increasing community safety.”