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Focus On Re-Offending By Maori

A new Maori focus prison unit at Waikeria will help to reduce re-offending by Maori inmates, Corrections Minister matt Robson predicted today.

Speaking at the opening of New Zealand’s fourth Maori focus prison unit he said the Waikeria unit is modelled on the Department’s three other successful Maori focus units.

“The early results show the units are proving successful at getting offenders into a crime-free lifestyle by re-integrating them into their whanau and communities.

“Teaching Maori language, values and disciplines is important in fostering an improved sense of identity and self-esteem among inmates," Matt Robson said.

“Reducing Maori re-offending requires close work with iwi, Maori service providers and whanau to get the best results. This new unit has been developed in partnership with local iwi."

Matt Robson acknowledged the work of the previous government in developing Maori focus units, and said he is committed to the concept.

“The recently released report ‘About Time’ shows that the best way to keep the public safe is to turn people away from a life of crime and to reduce re-offending. Maori focus units do that by developing a sense of Maori culture and identity and by helping inmates to address the causes of their offending."

The long-term aim of the unit is for inmates to leave with positive objectives and improved skills for the future, which reduce the likelihood of re-offending.

The new unit will house up to 60 inmates.

Ends

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