The Justice Minister Andrew Little has revealed that there is over $23 million in the Justice Sector Fund.
In response to a written question from the former Justice Minister and National MP, Amy Adams, Mr Little said the balance was $23.15 million as at 31 October 2017.
The Justice Sector Fund was created in 2012 as a way for the sector to share savings and provide the Ministry of Justice 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,” the ministry says.
By May 2017, 66 initiatives had received funding through the Fund. The ministry says these include a 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 need to show that the initiative will contribute to reducing crime and reoffending, and/or assist the sector to modernise and become more cost effective.
“Contributions to the Fund come from any surplus the Ministry of Justice achieves in a financial year and are made with the agreement of the Minister of Finance,” says Andrew Little. “In the time the Fund has been operating there has been no budgeted contribution from one year to the next because it is dependent on whether there is a surplus. Consideration is presently being given to projects to which existing funds might be put. Any future contribution, and the size of it, will be considered once any surplus from this financial year is known and there is agreement with the Minister of Finance.”