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The justice sector is made up of:

  • Ministry of Justice
  • New Zealand Police
  • Department of Corrections
  • Crown Law Office
  • Serious Fraud Office
  • Child, Youth and Family (part of the Ministry of Social Development).

We work together to make New Zealand safer and to deliver accessible justice services and better outcomes for all New Zealanders.

Some of the major programmes the justice sector agencies are working together on include:

  • Investment approach to justice - a bold new inter-agency initiative that is using data and evidence to support crime prevention
  • Christchurch Justice & Emergency Services Precinct - brings together all justice and emergency services in one purpose-built, leading edge precinct in central Christchurch.
  • Better outcomes for Māori - improving how our justice system operates for Māori, such as exploring partnerships with iwi/Māori to design and deliver interventions that better address the needs of Māori, and making better use of our data to understand where and how we can improve our services and build evidence about what works.
  • Reducing family violence - the Domestic Violence Act 1995 is being reviewed; and several pilot projects are underway including the Judiciary Bail Summary which gives judges more information about the risk defendants in family violence cases pose, and the Integrated Safety Response which will bring together a team of Police, CYF, Corrections, Health and specialist family violence NGOs and Māori service providers to support victims and their families.

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The criminal justice pipeline

 

Flow chart showing criminal justice pipeline

We can think about the criminal justice system (Police, Justice/Courts and Corrections) as a "pipeline". The pipeline starts with Police preventing and dealing with crime, moves through to the Courts where offenders are prosecuted and sentenced, and ends with Corrections who manage prison and community sentences, and provide rehabilitation programmes. It means policies and approaches in one part of the system can impact on others. Joining up our approach allows us to identify these effects, and implement changes that have the best outcomes for everyone.

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The Justice Sector Leadership Board

To help us to work better together we have formed the Justice Sector Leadership Board. It includes:

  • Secretary for Justice (chair)
  • Commissioner, NZ Police
  • Chief Executive, Department of Corrections
  • Chief Executive, Serious Fraud Office
  • Solicitor-General, Crown Law Office.

The Leadership Board is responsible for ensuring we achieve our collective goals, including our Better Public Services targets. They coordinate major change programmes and oversee planning to improve services, reduce harm and the number of people in the criminal justice system, maintain institutions and manage investment. The Leadership Board is supported by Sector Group within the Ministry of Justice.

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Justice Sector Fund

The Justice Sector Fund (JSF) was created in April 2012. It is a way for the justice sector to share savings and gives us financial flexibility to invest in areas that deliver better results to New Zealanders. Through the JSF we can use the money saved by an agency to fund another agency’s initiatives to reduce crime and reoffending.

Normally savings cannot be kept or used for another purpose (the Public Finance Act 1989 prevents this), however the JSF allows unspent justice sector money to be kept and used for future initiatives.

By May 2017, 66 initiatives had recieved funding through the JSF. A total of $273 million of savings from the justice sector has been reallocated for these initiatives, examples include the review of family violence law, expanding the use of restorative justice, reintegration programmes for people released from prison, and installing audio-visual links between courts and prisons to improve public and prisoner safety.

Applications for funding from the JSF need to show that the initiative will:

  • contribute to reducing crime and reoffending (i.e. Better Public Service targets) and our key result areas, and/or
  • assist the sector to modernise and become more cost effective (e.g. by spending more now in order to spend less in the long-term).

One of the main goals of the JSF is to allow new initiatives to be trialled. Once they have shown they are effective they are able to seek long term funding through the annual Budget process.

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