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Clarification needed over new rehab programmes

Simon Power
National Party Law & Order Spokesman

21 March 2006

Clarification needed over new prisons rehab programmes

Corrections Minister Damien O’Connor needs to ensure that new prisoner rehabilitation programmes announced today will dedicate enough time to specific issues such as drug and alcohol, says National’s Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power.

He is commenting on the announcement that Corrections plans to replace two of its mixed programmes – Straight Thinking and the 100-hour Mixed Programme –with new ones, while also appearing to replace some targeted programmes.

“The Minister needs to explain what is happening here.

“National’s concern is that the department seems to be replacing specific rehab programmes, dealing with alcohol, violence, drug and driving issues, with two programmes that are wider in nature.

“Is the department telling us that one size fits all?

“Concerns raised in the Ombudsmen’s report in December show that the amount of time devoted specifically to drug and alcohol abuse in its mixed programmes was ‘limited’.

“If the department is planning to replace specific programmes with these mixed ones, the Minister needs to assure us that they will provide adequate emphasis and time for prisoners with specific needs.

“National will be watching to ensure these new programmes and changes are actually an improvement rather than change for change’s sake, “ says Mr Power.

ENDS

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