It is possible to make the public safer by turning people away from a life of crime and reducing re-offending.
That is the main finding of a report released today by the Corrections Minister Matt Robson.
About Time makes ten recommendations. They range from early intervention in high risk families, through to intensive programmes for teenagers in Day Reporting Centres and for adult offenders in prison.
Matt Robson says the programmes match the Government’s new Sentencing and Parole Bills.
“The new Bills will make the public safer by ensuring that offenders who are still dangerous are not eligible for early release. The recommendations released today complement that approach by targeting behaviour before crimes are committed.”
About Time says an intervention for a five year old who is aggressive and defiant costs about $5000 per case with a success rate of 70%. The same behaviour at the age of 25 years costs $20,000 and has a success rate of only 20%.
As much as $75 could be saved for every $1 spent on Day Reporting Centres for teenagers entering the adult justice system.
“The earliest possible intervention works best and costs least,” Matt Robson said.
“The Government is recognising through the new Sentencing and Parole Acts that some criminals cannot and will not change, and we need to keep the public safe from their offending. We also need to recognise that some rehabilitation programmes are successful with some offenders.
“The overall aim is to make the public safer by turning people away from a life of crime and reducing re-offending.”