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Specialist reintegration unit opened at Rimutaka

30 October 2006


Specialist reintegration unit opened at Rimutaka Prison

The Department of Corrections welcomes today’s opening of New Zealand’s first specialist mainstream reintegration unit at Rimutaka Prison by the Minister of Corrections Hon. Damien O’Connor.

Public Prisons Service Wellington Regional Manager Dave East says the reintegration unit is an important step in helping prisoners prepare for life in the community and reducing the chances of them re-offending.

“The Unit provides specialist custodial accommodation for 60 prisoners and will aim to increase prisoners general competence, self-responsibility and self-reliance,” says Mr East.

“Staff at the Unit will work with prisoners who have the highest reintegrative needs in the final part of their sentence and will assist them to find accommodation, employment, manage money, gain community support and maintain a balanced lifestyle.”

The Unit will also provide an environment where prisoners can participate in Release to Work and vocational training. Release to Work is a form of temporary release that allows prisoners nearing release to be employed during the day in paid jobs in the community.

Mr East says prisoners who enter the Unit will have agreed to work towards their reintegration into the community and are committed to getting on with their lives and becoming productive members of society.

“Reintegrating prisoners is in the interests of the community as a whole and therefore it is great that we can create this supportive environment where prisoners can resolve their reintegration needs that would otherwise hinder their transition back into the community,” Mr East says.

The Rimutaka Reintegration Unit is currently building up its prisoner numbers and should have reached a full complement by Christmas.

ENDS

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