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Working prisons helping to reduce reoffending

Hon Anne Tolley
Minister of Corrections

27 January 2014

Working prisons helping to reduce reoffending

Corrections Minister Anne Tolley says that New Zealand’s first three working prisons are making excellent progress in giving offenders structured education and skills training alongside work experience for at least forty hours per week, to support rehabilitation and reduce the likelihood of reoffending.

90 per cent of eligible prisoners at Rolleston, Auckland Women’s and Tongariro/Rangipo Prisons are now engaged for the full 40 hours each week, which will rise to 100 per cent by June.

“These prisoners are being kept busy, and are being given the opportunity to gain an education and learn employment skills,” says Mrs Tolley.

“We know this can make all the difference in keeping them away from reoffending when they are released.

“Prisoners are involved in a range of activities, from refurbishing earthquake-damaged houses at Rolleston, to mobility dog training at Auckland Women’s and farms and trade training at Tongariro.

“Corrections staff also deserve great credit for their dedication and hard work, in making sure this initiative is a success, as it plays an important part in helping us reduce reoffending by 25 per cent by 2017.

“Around the country, more prisoners than ever before are being given the chance of rehabilitation.

“All offenders are now given an education assessment when they enter prison, which is used to develop an individual learning and training plan.

“In November I announced that $81.3 million is being invested in upgrading five prisons, which will provide better facilities for prisoner rehabilitation and training.

“And there have been huge increases in places on drug and alcohol programmes, to treat the addictions which many offenders have.

“Most offenders are released back into our communities. We are doing everything we can to ensure that they don’t carry out more crimes, and our efforts will ensure that there will be 18,500 fewer victims of crime each year by 2017.”

ENDS

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