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Prison Fellowship fund shortfall will cost us all

Media statement
For immediate release
Thursday 3 July 2008

Prison Fellowship funding shortfall will cost us all

News that Prison Fellowship is facing a funding crisis has spurred UnitedFuture deputy leader Judy Turner to request the government considers the group’s current shortfall and acknowledges the benefits of their restorative justice programmes.

“I have personally attended a number of Sycamore Tree graduations at Rimutaka and Waikeria Prisons and heard for myself the testimonies of both the offenders and victims who have been through this programme and the way it has changed their lives,” said Mrs Turner.

“Prison Fellowship also runs restorative justice conferences between victims and offenders on request, a process that both parties report as extraordinarily valuable.”

“It is crucial that we lower the rate of recidivism in New Zealand, the only way to do so is to give those coming out of prison the skills to contribute to the community.”

“Prison Fellowship’s innovative approach to rehabilitation and reintegration has proven to be incredibly successful. I hope the Government will take this into account and consider providing financial assistance to help them through this funding shortfall.”

“Nearly 75% of all inmates in New Zealand are re-convicted within two years of release. 37% are back in prison within two years and 51% within five years.”

“Such figures show the appalling failure of our prison system to rehabilitate offenders, to let Prison Fellowship fold through lack of funding will only exacerbate this situation.”

“Researchers in the UK have found that for every pound spent on restorative justice interventions the tax-payer is saved nine pounds from spending on law and order.”

“Organisations like Prison fellowship are incredibly good value for money due to the fact that they have few paid staff and rely on hundreds of trained volunteers to deliver much of what they do,” said Mrs Turner

ENDS

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