Government throws in the towel, abandons reoffending targets

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The government has quietly abandoned its target for reduced reoffending - proving it was only ever an empty political slogan, the PSA says.

The Better Public Services target, which required Corrections to reduce reoffending by 25 per cent over six years, has been dropped, and PSA members in corrections say it’s no surprise.

PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay says insufficent resources were provided to help reach the target, and prison overcrowding has made conditions more dangerous and stressful for inmates and staff alike.

"The target was unrealistic from the get go and then became ridiculous as National’s tough-on-crime agenda drove the prison population up," Mr Barclay says.

"This government is very keen on locking people away but they give no thought to where they should be housed and how they might be rehabilitated."

Mr Barclay says the problems extend into the probation service which does not have the resources necessary to properly enforce release conditions.

He says Justice Minister Amy Adams should begin a complete overhaul.

"Everyone is under the pump but the ambulance at the bottom of this particular cliff is full."