The government does spend millions a year on rehabilitation and reintegration, but it is not enough, is not a large share of the justice sector budget and is often not well spent. We think New Zealand can do better by spending a significant share of what it would have spent on prison (which costs about $100,000 a year per occupied prison bed, not including significant capital expenditure) on rehabilitation, reintegration and finding creative solutions to offending.
For example, we think that the Alcohol and Other Drug Treatement (AODT or ‘drug’) Court pilot at two sites in Auckland has shown its worth and should be rolled out more widely. Any District Court can run an AODT court process but practically it needs financial help from the government. The Opportunities Party would expand the number of AODT from two to seven over the next two years, using money saved from a smaller prison population.