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Fewer Prisoners In Rehab Under Labour Government

Simon Power MP
National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman
3 January 2008

Fewer prisoners in rehab under Labour

Fewer prisoners are participating in rehabilitation programmes despite the Labour Government claiming it has increased emphasis on such courses, says National's Justice & Corrections spokesman, Simon Power.

He is releasing information which shows that:

* Only 2,258 prisoners undertook rehab programmes in 2006/07, compared to 2,383 in 2003/04.

* The 2006/07 figure comprised just 29% of the average muster of 7,605, compared to 39% of the average muster of 6,086 in 2003.

* Corrections is expecting to have only 34% of the estimated peak muster of 7,959 on rehab courses this year.

* Only 356 prisoners undertook community-based programmes, compared to 996 in 2004/05. This is expected to increase to only 608 this year.

"These are pathetic results from a Government that talks as though it is making headway on prisoner rehabilitation.

"Instead of going forwards, they're going backwards.

"Part of that is probably due to Corrections withdrawing courses like Straight Thinking, which actually made prisoners more likely to reoffend.

"Not only did numbers drop last year but even their projections are down, meaning things will only get worse, meaning that more prisoners will be released not having been anywhere near a rehabilitation programme.

"When you add that to Labour's dismal effort on work programmes - where they allow 4.6% of the prison population to refuse to work or train, and where the number of employment hours per prisoner has dropped from 18 hours a week in 2001 to 13 hours last year - then you begin to see the extent of the problem.

"It's called Corrections because at least some effort is supposed to be made to sending people out a little better than when they go in, but figures like these belie that title.

"Labour's the one with the correcting to do."

ATTACHMENT: Answers To Financial Review Questions [PDF]


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