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Rapid rise in prisoner education to reduce reoffending

Hon Anne Tolley
Minister of Corrections

19 March 2014 Media Statement
Rapid rise in prisoner education to reduce reoffending

Corrections Minister Anne Tolley says prisoner access to literacy and numeracy programmes has received massive boosts since 2008, alongside huge increases in prisoners earning qualifications.

Almost 3,000 prisoners will start literacy and numeracy programmes this financial year, a rise of 155 per cent compared to 2007/8.

The number of prisoners gaining qualifications has increased by 830 per cent, up from 197 in 2008/9 to 1,833 in 2012/13. The total number of qualifications gained by prisoners in 2012/13 was 3,160.

“Lack of a basic education is a major driver of crime, and we have introduced education screening for all prisoners when they enter a facility to determine the level of support required in their individual learning plans,” says Mrs Tolley.

“By increasing access to literacy and numeracy programmes we can give prisoners the education skills they need, and they can then go on to study for qualifications and gain valuable skills training.

“With these tools they can stay away from crime on their release and make a positive contribution to society.

“And that means they don’t create more victims of crime.

“We are determined to reach the target of a 25 per cent reduction in reoffending by 2017 and 18,500 fewer victims of crime each year, through our focus on education, drug and alcohol rehabilitation and skills training.

“Corrections is almost halfway to reaching that goal, and I’m confident the Department will continue to make great progress in making our communities safer.”

ENDS

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