Award-Winning About Time Report To Christchurch
22 November 2001
Robson Takes His Award-Winning About Time Report To Christchurch
“’Early intervention works best, costs less’: New Zealand can lead the world in crime prevention if we follow this simple motto,” Corrections Minister Matt Robson said at a Safer Communities Forum tonight in Christchurch.
He hosted a community debate around his recent report, About Time, which calls for a host of early intervention measures with at risk children.
“We don’t want to wait until they grow up to become hardened criminals,” says Matt Robson.
About Time won the Central Government section award at the 2001 KPMG Innovations Awards, with the judging panel saying the report contained ‘ a package of ideas with unprecedented potential for reducing serious crime.’
“I’m very pleased that the common sense approach of About Time has been acknowledged.
“The message is simple: The most effective way to keep the public safe is to intervene before people start on a life of crime.
“I’ve been travelling the country talking at public meetings about early intervention. I’ve also been listening to the people at the coalface, especially school principals who are very concerned about truancy and its links to crime. They desperately want support for a more co-ordinated national programme of early intervention initiatives.
“It may seem strange that a Minister in charge of prisons has been visiting schools. But I want to make sure these kids don’t end up on one of my prison door-steps.
“The average cost of imprisonment per inmate per year: $52,738. Early intervention is cheaper. If we intervene with a 5 year old in trouble at school, it will cost $5000 and we have a 70% chance of success. Intervention at age 25 costs $20,000 and has only a 20% success rate.
Next year in the lead up to the budget I will be pushing strongly for the resources to co-ordinate a national programme of early intervention with kids at risk,” says Matt Robson.