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Targeted treatment reduces re-offending

16 October 2001 Embargoed until 8pm Media Statement

Targeted treatment reduces re-offending, says Minister

"Because of the work that you do, there are people going about their daily lives today who could have been victims of crime, but are not," Corrections Minister Matt Robson told the Psychological Service Conference in Rotorua tonight.

Psychologists working with offenders both in and out of the prisons, come together once a year for the conference.

"Your work helps to reduce re-offending.

"Just look at the success of programmes like Kia Marama in Rolleston prison. This is a targeted therapy approach towards sex offenders which has halved re-offending when compared to those who did not receive treatment.

"I am in no doubt that the targeted approach is the way of the future.

"It works for sex offenders, it works for violent offenders and it works with those offenders who have drug and alcohol addictions."

Matt Robson also assured the conference that the government's new Sentencing and Parole Bill would make the job of treating offenders on parole easier.

"I don't want you as psychologists to take the blame when something goes horribly wrong. I don't want probation officers to cop it either."

"The new Bill will make it easier to recall an offender to prison if there is a serious risk that he or she might re-offend," says Mat Robson.

He also asked the conference for support for his early intervention initiatives.

"Early intervention works best, costs less. I believe the best way to keep the public safe in the long term is to prevent kids and teenagers growing up into tomorrow’s criminals. I am asking for your support towards these initiatives," says Matt Robson.


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