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Re-imprisonment rate shows significant decline

Hon Anne Tolley
Minister of Corrections

24 June 2014

Re-imprisonment rate shows significant decline

Corrections Minister Anne Tolley says the sea change in the Government’s approach to offender rehabilitation is continuing to show extremely positive results.

The rate of offenders returning to prison within a year of release has dropped by a total of 4 per cent since June 2011, with a 3 per cent drop in the last year.

“This shows that our unprecedented increase in rehabilitation support for prisoners is starting to make a real difference, in an area in which it is notoriously difficult to have any impact,” says Mrs Tolley.

“The vast majority of prisoners will be released back into our communities, which is why we are committed to ensuring they don’t create more victims, through our commitment to prisoner education, mental health support, skills training, addiction treatment, working prisons and reintegration.

“There is no magic bullet for reducing reoffending and we are tackling the drivers of crime in a number of ways.

“There has been a 1500 per cent increase in places on drug and alcohol treatment programmes for prisoners since 2008.

“There has been a 155 per cent increase in the number of prisoners starting literacy and numeracy programmes, and an 830 per cent jump in the number of prisoners gaining qualifications.

“We have also introduced education screening and individual learning programmes for prisoners, as well as mental health screening to ensure they receive the level of support they need.

“This range of initiatives gives offenders the opportunity to turn their lives around and to stay away from a return to crime.

“Corrections is already halfway to hitting our Better Public Services target of a 25 per cent reduction in reoffending by 2017.

“That has resulted in over 2,300 fewer offenders each year, more than 9,000 fewer victims, and now over 80 fewer offenders returning to prison every year.

“Given that it costs up to $100,000 annually per prisoner to keep an offender in jail, this is also very good news for taxpayers.

“The largest gains so far have been in reducing community offending through rehab and better probation support, and I’m delighted that our work inside prisons is now paying dividends as prisoners make their way through and out of the system.”

ENDS

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