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‘Crime-Busting’ Professionals To Go Into Prisons

Hon Matt Robson
Minister of Corrections, Minister for Courts
Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control
Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

News release

New ‘crime-busting’ professionals to go into prisons

28th January 2000

“Those graduating here today have a hard task ahead of them, but one which if they are successful will mark a new era in the running of New Zealand prisons and our ability to tackle re-offending” said new Minister of Corrections Matt Robson today.

He was presenting certificates to the first team to graduate as new facilitators now qualified to train other prison offices, probation staff and psychologists in the new Integrated Offender Management programme.

He told the graduates that they were central in a new drive to target re-offending, with the best programmes available, in and out of the prisons.

“This is about using new techniques and ‘tools’ that have already reduced re-offending by up to 13% overseas, and adapting them for New Zealand. These programmes will teach offenders lessons they’ll never forget.

“The aim is to break the offending cycle. The reality is we have very little time to turn that cycle around. We have to act quickly and effectively.

“Many offenders have had years of copying bad role models. Once we get them in the system, we have to do everything we can to turn around the way they think and act. Because one day they will turn up on your streets again. And unless we’ve done our job properly, they’ll end up back in prison.

“The new Integrated Offender Management programme is based on overseas evidence. It works. Quite simply it is a system of assessing each inmate, how they think and how they act.

“If you believe that violence is the answer to any problem, or that it’s OK to steal because others have more than you, or you don’t link actions and consequences, then you’re liable to become a repeat offender. The first step is knowing that what you did was wrong. That’s what the programme is all about,” said Matt Robson.

The new IOM facilitators have come from the prison and probation services and have had an intensive four weeks of training. They will now spread out across the North Island. The IOM programme targets violence, substance abuse and driving offending.

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