Volume 2 Issue 1 of Practice: The New Zealand Corrections Journal includes:
- Editorial - Liz Morgan
- How Corrections measures progress towards its 25 percent reducing re-offending target - Peter W. Johnston
- Review of PhD research by Laura Hanby on the ability of the Dynamic Risk Assessment for Offender Re-entry (DRAOR) to identify risk and desistance for NZ parolees (2010-2012) - Nick J Wilson
- What can the DRAOR tell us about high-risk offenders? A preliminary examination - Julia A. Yesberg & Devon L. L. Polaschek
- Women on parole: Do they need their own DRAOR? - Julia A. Yesberg, Jessica M. Scanlan & Devon L. L. Polaschek
- Prevention first and victims at the centre – NZ Police’s journey to reduce victimisation - Fiona Prestidge
- Prison-based employment interventions: effects on recidivism - Sarah Beggs Christofferson
- Developing a world class family violence programme for New Zealand - Mark Hutton & Danielle Kallil
- Preparing Core members for Circles of Support and Accountability in New Zealand - Jim van Rensburg
- Assessing the literacy and numeracy of prisoners - Jill Bowman
- Translating the right relationship into right practice: Right Track in NZ prisons - Carolyn O’Fallon
- Book review: Prison violence – Causes, Consequences and Solutions - Kristine Levan (2012) & Reviewed by Neil Beales
Welcome to Practice: The Corrections Journal.
To achieve our goal of reducing re-offending by 25 percent by 2017, services and approaches need to be appropriately tailored and targeted to support an offender to change. This edition of Practice outlines a number of new approaches, frameworks and interventions that have been developed, enhanced or tailored for specific groups, to support offenders to lead law-abiding lives.
Having a reliable measure of re-offending is essential to allow us to measure our success against the 25 percent reduction in re-offending target. This measure, in and of itself however, can never tell the full story. When combined with other measures, such as the seriousness of an offender’s re-offending and the effectiveness of our interventions, a richer story begins to unfold. Peter Johnston’s article explains the ins and outs of these measures and how they should be interpreted.
Have we got the right way of assessing risk to allow us to make the best decisions? The short answer to this question is “yes” and three of the articles contained within this edition give evidence to this effect. Julia Yesberg and Devon Polashek’s article shows that Dynamic Risk Assessment for Offender Re-entry (DRAOR) is a robust predictor of recidivism for both low and high risk offenders, Julia Yesberg, Jessica Scanlan and Devon Polaschek explore the question of whether women on parole need their own DRAOR, and Nick Wilson outlines the extensive DRAOR research carried out by Laura Hanby.
Risk assessment is only part of the equation though. We also need to understand an offender’s learning abilities so our messages are correctly understood and we can tailor our approaches accordingly. Jill Bowman’s research shows that over 71 percent of prisoners are below the literacy level at which a person is able to cope with the demands of everyday life in modern society. This supports the extensive expansion of educational interventions that has taken place over the last eighteen months.
Every seven minutes an incident of family violence is reported. Mark Hutton and Danielle Kallil’s article outlines a new family violence programme for male offenders in the community that has been developed using international best practice. Jim van Rensburg’s article also discusses best practice and the recent New Zealand pilot of Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA).
Corrections isn’t the only organisation undertaking fundamental changes to achieve better results. Police are changing their approach via the Victims Focus Framework. Six percent of adults experience 54 percent of all crime and many of these victims are offenders themselves. Inspector Fiona Prestidge provides more detail on this relatively new framework.
As at the end of February, we have achieved a 12.6 percent reduction in re-offending. This equates to 3,219 fewer offenders and over 9,200 fewer victims of crime per year. This is a huge achievement and our communities are safer as a result. To achieve our goal of reducing re-offending by 25 percent by 2017 we will need to continue to be innovative and flexible in the solutions we deliver and build on our successes to date.
Director, Reducing Re-offending Programme
Department of Corrections