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Pasifika prisoner rehab programmes under threat

Asenati Lole-Taylor MP
Spokesperson for Corrections

27 February 2013

Pasifika prisoner rehab programmes under threat

New Zealand First says bureaucratic meddling may destroy rehabilitation programmes for Pacific prisoners in the Vaka Fa’aola Pacific Focus Unit at Spring Hill Corrections Facility.

The unit was set up with the support of the local Pacific community to reduce reoffending of prisoners with tailored programmes for Pasifika inmates.

Corrections spokesperson Asenati Lole-Taylor says bureaucratic meddling is behind moves to introduce rehabilitation programmes that have no buy-in from the Pacific community or Pasifika inmates.

“The Pacific community, which provides the tailored programmes, is being strangled in red tape over proposals to introduce rehabilitation programmes that will not get buy-in from the prisoners they are intended to help.

“A number of the Pacific programme providers are sick to the back teeth over bureaucrats insistent meddling and may reluctantly quit their roles.”

Mrs Lole-Taylor says the input of the local Pacific community is vital to the success of the Focus Unit.

“That’s because you can’t force prisoners to undertake rehabilitation programmes so you must ensure the ones on offer to Pasifika inmates incorporate their cultural perspective that would motivate them to be engaged in learning.

“The Government must intervene now to ensure the rehabilitation on offer at the Pacific Focus Unit remains relevant for Pasifika prisoners,” says Mrs Lole-Taylor.

ENDS

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