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Justice sector funding pool for better results

Hon Judith Collins
Minister of Justice

24 May 2012

Justice sector funding pool for better results

A new cross-agency funding pool will give the justice sector flexibility to invest in areas that deliver better results to New Zealanders, Justice Minister Judith Collins says.

The Justice Sector Fund allows money saved in one justice sector agency to be used in another. For example, the fund provides flexibility for savings to be redirected into the wider justice sector’s highest priorities, rather than being restricted to reinvestment in the same Vote.

“This is the first time a funding pool of this kind has been used in the public sector,” Ms Collins says. “It recognises the critical relationships across the criminal justice ‘pipeline’ – from arrest, through the court process, to sentencing and rehabilitation.

“The Justice Sector Fund means justice sector chief executives have an incentive and mechanism to prioritise resources. If they can save money in low-priority areas, or by working more effectively, it can be reinvested where it helps meet sector targets and improve results for New Zealanders.”

The total annual operating budget for the justice sector, covering Votes Attorney-General, Corrections, Courts, Justice, Police, and Serious Fraud Office, is $3.8 billion.

As well as allowing savings to be transferred between agencies, the fund means savings can be moved across years.

“Delivering results means deciding what works and what doesn’t, and shifting resources to frontline services,” Ms Collins says. “Everything we do needs to be geared toward keeping crime falling and ensuring those who need justice get access to it.

“We’re committed to improving the safety and security of our communities, and we’ve maintained a strong focus on law and order – we now have the lowest crime rate in over 30 years.

“We want this success to continue and we have set Better Public Services results for reducing total crime, violent crime, and youth crime, and reducing reoffending.”

Budget 2012 confirms another of the measurable targets within the 10 Better Public Service results areas announced by the Prime Minister earlier this year: reducing prisoner reoffending by 25 per cent by 2017.

Reaching this target would mean 18,500 fewer victims of crime every year.

“An announcement will be made soon on other targets for reducing total crime, including violent crime and youth crime, by 2017,” Ms Collins says.

Programmes under-way across the sector include Policing Excellence, which enables Police to focus more on crime prevention; the Ministry of Justice’s focus on a more modern and accessible court system; and Corrections’ focus on rehabilitating prisoners in order to reduce reoffending.

ENDS

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