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New Drug And Alcohol Unit Welcomed

Media Release

19 July 2006

New Drug And Alcohol Unit Welcomed

New Zealand First law and order spokesperson Ron Mark has welcomed the announcement by the Corrections Minister of an additional drug and alcohol rehabilitation unit at Christchurch Prison.

“Along with the proposed increased throughput at Waikeria and a further possible unit in the lower North Island, inmates with alcohol and drug problems who are willing to tackle their addiction will have a greatly increased chance of getting help," said Mr Mark.

“New Zealand First knows that crime rate and the risk of re-offending after prison are undeniably linked to drug and alcohol issues, and that existing facilities to help prisoners overcome their addictions are at present severely limited.

“Our information tells us that while 85% of prisoners have drug and alcohol addiction issues, less than 10% receive treatment.

“The provision of drug and alcohol rehabilitation units within prisons will also assist in deterring attempts to bring contraband into prisons and perpetuate the vicious circle from within.

“The other issue that concerns New Zealand First, and which is also critical for inmate rehabilitation, is education and we urge the Minister to concentrate rehabilitation resources in this area also and abandon the psychobabble courses that have recently been denounced as ineffective.

“We are glad the Minister has listened to our concerns and has taken this initiative, and we look forward to continuing working towards genuine rehabilitation for prisoners," Mr Mark said.


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