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Probation funding to improve community safety

Hon Judith Collins
Minister of Corrections
28 May 2009


Probation funding to improve community safety

The Government will inject an extra $255.9 million into the probation service to address issues raised in a critical report by the Auditor General.

“The safety of the public should be the number one priority when offenders are released on parole,” Corrections Minister Judith Collins says.

“This Government inherited a probation system under extreme stress. The previous Government increased the number and complexity of community based sentences without providing enough resources or training of probation staff.

“The extra funding announced today shows that this Government is serious about fixing the probation system and improving the safety of the public.”

The total extra funding includes $205.0 million of operating spending over the next four years and $50.9 million in capital spending in the next two years.

The Auditor General said in February that the Community Probation and Psychological Services (CPPS) had 10 per cent fewer probation officers than it needed due to increasing numbers of offenders on community sentences.

Budget operating funding of $133.8 million over four years will enable CPPS to recruit an extra 134 probation officers, 26 frontline managers and 20 psychologists, which will ensure it can effectively manage almost 100,000 sentences and orders a year.

Funding has also been provided to meet an increased demand for community based programmes for offenders and for additional monitoring of the highest risk child sex offenders managed in the community by CPPS.

Another $71.2 million operating funding has been approved over four years to recruit an extra 112 probation officers, three frontline managers and three psychologists to improve the quality of parole and home detention management.

ENDS

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