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Labour failure in prisoner rehab laid bare

Simon Power MP
National Party Law & Order Spokesman

27 March 2006

Labour failure in prisoner rehab laid bare

National Party Law & Order spokesman Simon Power has released new figures which have “laid bare Labour’s stunning failure when it comes to drug and alcohol rehabilitation for prison inmates”.

He is commenting on answers to parliamentary questions which show that since 2003 there has been a dramatic decline in the number of inmates taking part and completing the 100-hour drug and alcohol rehabilitation programmes in prison.

"This is a disgrace given that an estimated 83% of our prison population have drug or alcohol problems.”

In the 2002/03 year there were 233 inmates on drug and alcohol programmes. Last year there were only 103 inmates, and so far this year a miniscule 80 inmates have started rehab courses.

“Rehabilitation rates should not be declining when the prison population is increasing,” says Mr Power.

“The number of inmates actually completing courses has dropped from a high of 183 in 2002/03 to 83 last year, and 69 so far this year.

"At this rate, fewer prisoners will go through this programme this year than at any time since the Labour Government came into office, and the downward spiral of the past four years will continue.”

Mr Power says it is time Corrections admitted it is failing dismally in the area of drug rehabilitation at a time when there is a serious 'P' epidemic, and when more and more drugs are being found in prisons.

In 2004 – 2005, 17% of inmates tested positive for drugs during random testing.

The number of positive tests for methamphetamine alone increased more than 13-fold between 1999/2000 and 2004/2005.

“There has never been a stronger argument for effective rehabilitation programmes. Corrections is going backwards,” says Mr Power.

ENDS

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