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All prisons to become working prisons

Hon Anne Tolley

National Party Spokesperson for Corrections

10 September 2014 Media Statement

All prisons to become working prisons

All public prisons in New Zealand will become full working prisons by 2017, and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government, says Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley.

“The National-led Government has revolutionised the approach to offender rehabilitation to reduce reoffending rates and ensure there are fewer victims of crime,” says Mrs Tolley.

“By expanding the working prisons model from three to 16 prisons, every eligible prisoner will have a structured 40 hour-a-week timetable to include work experience, skills training and education, alongside drug and alcohol treatment and other rehabilitation programmes. This will give them the skills they need to live a crime-free life outside prison.

“The vast majority of prisoners don’t want to be sitting around in their cells doing nothing. The working prisons model gives them the opportunity to learn good habits and take responsibility for their lives. And after a decent day’s work they are also more manageable for prison staff.”

The working prisons expansion will not require additional funding, and can be established through reprioritisation of resources.

“Our focus on rehabilitation and reintegration will also be further strengthened by a new post-release specialist addiction treatment programme for prisoners, so support continues in the community when offenders are at risk of returning to drugs and alcohol, which we know are major drivers of crime,” says Mrs Tolley.

Offenders who have taken part in intensive residential drug treatment unit programmes while inside prison, who are on parole or released on conditions, will be required to attend specialist drug and alcohol addiction aftercare programmes once released.

This will be introduced for up to 1,000 offenders each year, at an estimated cost of up to $6 million a year.

“We don’t want offenders returning to their old ways and creating more victims when they are released,” says Mrs Tolley.

“Places on addiction treatment programmes have increased by 1500 per cent since 2008. We don’t want this excellent work undone on release, which we know can be a difficult time for offenders.

“For those who need continued support, the new aftercare programmes will provide the help they need to keep them away from substances.

“This will reduce their chances of recidivism, as we progress towards our Better Public Services target of a 25 per cent reduction in reoffending by 2017.

“The expansion of working prisons and the introduction of aftercare programmes will also help National achieve its new target of reducing crime by 20 per cent by 2017,” says Mrs Tolley.

National’s Corrections Policy is available at: http://ntnl.org.nz/1qv6HIJ

National’s Safer Communities – Policing Policy is available at:http://ntnl.org.nz/1rs5BJS


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