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Prison drug rehab programmes tackle offending


Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Corrections


26 November 2007
Media statement

Prison drug rehab programmes tackle cause of offending


The first group of prisoners have graduated from Hawkes Bay Prison’s new drug treatment unit, Corrections Minister Phil Goff said today.

The intensive six-month programme, which commenced at Hawkes Bay in May, is a key to reducing re-offending, Phil Goff said.

“Drug and alcohol treatment units are a pivotal part of the Government’s Effective Interventions programme aimed at making the community safer by reducing crime and re-offending.

“When you consider that 60 percent of offenders are affected by alcohol or drugs at the time of their offending, the need for facilities such as this is obvious. Research shows that offenders who have been through a treatment unit are 13 per cent less likely to be re-imprisoned after 24 months than if they had not attended treatment.

“The nine graduates entered the programme acknowledging their addiction and accepting the need to do something about it. Each prisoner signs a contract upon entry to the unit which includes a requirement to stay drug and alcohol free, and must submit to random drug tests to ensure they are sticking to their commitment,” Phil Goff said.

Hawkes Bay Prison’s DTU is one of five around the country’s prisons, with a sixth due to open at the new Spring Hill Corrections Facility next year, by which time there will more than 500 drug treatment places available for prisoners each year. Phil Goff said. Hawkes Bay has three other programmes currently running at the DTU, with the next due to start on 7 January 2008.

“The prisoners will now move on to the next stage of their rehabilitation – some will transition to self care units and Release to Work. These programmes further the prisoners’ rehabilitation by providing an intermediate step between prison life and life in the community.”

Care NZ provide the programme in conjunction with the Corrections Department, with counsellors treating the prisoners on a one-on-one and group therapy basis.

ENDS

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