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Failing prison rehab programme got $2m

Simon Power
National Party Law & Order Spokesman
2 April 2006

Failing prison rehab programme got $2m

It is a scandal that a prisoner rehabilitation programme was allocated $2 million this year when it could have been increasing re-offending rather than reducing it, says National's Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power.

"Surely, to a department on top of its job, the failure of Straight Thinking would have been obvious well before it was allocated this money in 2005/06.

"Corrections admitted, in a December 2003 report, that Straight Thinking 'would appear to adhere least to the established principles of effective programming', and that at worst it 'may actually increase recidivism'.

"Straight Thinking is among several rehabilitation programmes being ditched because they weren't performing. They include the 100-hour Mixed Programme to Reduce Re-offending (M-PRO), in which prisoners were 4% more likely to be re-convicted and 6% more likely to be re-imprisoned within a year than those who weren't in it.

"Corrections knew in 2003 that Straight Thinking was a waste of money, but they still went ahead in 2005/06 and threw $2 million at it, with half of that spent by December.

"This has all the signs of a department that knows it is having big trouble meeting public expectation of it but which has absolutely no idea how to fix its problems or what to do next," says Mr Power.


Attachment: Answer to Parliamentary question 1694

Subject: 01694 (2006) Published - Corrections - Normal Reply

Question: Does each rehabilitative programme and reintegrative service
receive a set budget at the beginning of the financial year; if so, what
were the budgets set for each programme and service at the beginning of
the 2005/06 financial year; what is the current spend under each budget to

Portfolio: Corrections
Minister: Hon Damien O'Connor
Date Lodged:06/03/2006

Answer Text: Budgets are set at the beginning of each financial year.
Current budgets are set out in the attached table.

Attachment: WQ 01694.Table.doc

Date Received: 29/03/2006

Rehabilitative Programmes and Reintegrative Services
Dec 05
YTD Actual
Dec 05
YTD Budget
Full Year Budget
Responsivity/Motivational Programmes
Straight Thinking 963 964 2,057
Tikanga Maori 816 774 1,984
Faith Based Unit 108 74 142

Criminogenic Programmes
Sex Offending Programmes 550 547 1,107
Violence Prevention Programmes 90 40 120
EQUIP 539 592 1,194
Criminogenic & Other Programmes 2,349 2,456 5,262
Maori Therapeutic Programmes 129 110 409

Education & Training 2,578 2,568 5,227
Reintegrative Services 2,278 2,265 4,678
Community Residential Centres 1,833 1,854 3,826
Provision of Psychological Services 3,040 3,083 6,454

Programme Delivery Costs 15,273 15,327 32,460
Overhead Costs 6,849 7,108 17,017
Grand Total 22,122 22,435 49,477


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