The Hodgman government has axed the highly successful ‘Reintegration for Ex-Offenders’ (REO) program run by the Salvation Army in a short-sighted cost-cutting move that will abandon ex-inmates and compromise community safety, Greens Corrections spokesperson, Nick McKim MP, said today.
“Ensuring that people who leave our corrections system have support and secure housing is a basic human rights’ and community safety issue. The reintegration program was widely recognised as a key to reducing recidivism rates among ex-offenders and supporting them to become more engaged, productive citizens,” Mr McKim said.
“It helped to keep our community safer, yet this short-sighted government’s savage budget cuts will end this important work from 30 June this year.”
“Housing Tasmania told the Salvation Army yesterday that it would no longer fund the program due to budget reprioritisation. This is a false economy.”
“Every dollar spent keeping a person out of prison is paid back many times over in savings to the justice and corrections system, and therefore the taxpayer.
“This rampantly law-and-order Liberal government seems determined to implement policies that will fill our courts and prisons, from mandatory sentencing to the attack on suspended sentences and the increase in fines, and now this backward step.”
“This is a terrible decision that must be reversed if we are serious about making our communities safer,” Mr McKim said.