Record spend to stop high-risk crims re-offending

CORRECTIVE Services NSW has been promised $237 million to spend on psychologists and other staff to bring down re-offending rates among persistent domestic abusers and other high-risk criminals.

NSW Corrections Minister David Elliott said the funding boost would ensure every inmate serving a sentence of six months or less would also be forced to take part in rehabilitation programs, regardless of their crime.

He said an extra 345 psychologists, community corrections officers and other workers would be employed as part of the record rehabilitation spend.

Existing programs will be expanded for violent, addicted and sex-offending prisoners and parolees, with high-priority domestic violence offenders to undergo one-on-one case management and intervention programs after being charged but before sentencing.

About 1200 prisoners serving short sentences will undergo rehabilitation programs each year - currently those serving six months or less do not have to participate in the programs.

Mr Elliott said offenders deemed most likely to re-offend on release would be subject to stricter supervision at all stages of their imprisonment.

There is also funding to help with housing and employment for offenders when they leave jail.

"I've said repeatedly that the re-offending rate in NSW is too high and this funding seeks to punish offenders for their crime, while simultaneously intervene to rehabilitate them and put them back on the right path," Mr Elliott said. -ARM NEWSDESK