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Dunedin scheme for managing child sex offenders

Dunedin scheme for managing child sex offenders

The scheme’s objective is to effectively manage child sex offenders during their parole or supervision period in order to minimise the risk of them re-offending, while maximising their chance of successfully re-integrating into the community.

The scheme establishes specific information and responsibility sharing arrangements involving a number of government agencies, overseen by the Community Probation Service.

The scheme builds on the current management of offenders re-entering the community from prison, and fits in with work Corrections has begun to set new operating standards, procedures and policies to ensure high-risk offenders are identified and managed in the community in collaboration with Police.

The scheme’s key initiative is one-to-one contact between probation officers, who retain responsibility for managing the offenders, and designated representatives from Police, CYF, Housing, and the Ministry of Social Development.

Each offender’s probation officer will be responsible for assessing the risks that require management, and the needs that must be met, for that individual. Risks might include the likelihood of re-offending or of establishing or re-establishing a relationship with children. Needs might relate to re-integrative issues such as income support, counselling and housing.

The probation officer will contact the designated person at CYF, Police, MSD or Housing where necessary to make the agencies aware of the identified risks and needs. The relevant agency will need to assess the level of support or action required in each individual case, and to ensure that any information they have that raises concern is passed to the managing probation officer.

Dunedin was chosen for the initiation of the scheme because local probation officers and Police already have a protocol in place for working with child sex offenders, which means the scheme can be implemented rapidly. Dunedin also has a sufficient number of offenders for the first stage of the scheme.

Quarterly meetings will be held to review the scheme and to consider improvements. A full national rollout will follow, based on the availability of experienced and trained staff.

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