Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


New Zealand Leads the World in Prison Volunteering

New Zealand Leads the World in Prison Volunteering

"New Zealand has more prison volunteers in proportion to the prisoner population than anywhere else in the world", according to Kim Workman, National Director, Prison Fellowship. He was speaking in support of Volunteer Awareness Week.

"There are currently over 3000 volunteers and around 7,500 prisoners – that equates to 40% of the total prisoner population. As far as we can establish, Canada is next, with a volunteer population that equates to 28% of the prison population. The UK's volunteer population equates to 14% of the prison population, with Australia and other OECD countries lagging well behind."

"Those numbers reflect the Department of Corrections growing commitment to volunteers. The number of volunteers has doubled in the last 5-6 years, and the recent appointment of a National Adviser, Volunteers within the department, who has served as a central point from which volunteer issues can be resolved. The recent establishment of a Prison Volunteering Advisory Group which advises the department on volunteer issues, has further enhanced the relationship."

"The other stand-out feature is that 85% of the volunteers come from the churches. This negates the image of New Zealand Christians as being punitive, narrowly moralistic, and condemning in their attitude toward prisoners, and "the last, the least, and the lonely". The public posturing of Christian advocacy groups who call for the harsh punishment of offenders, does not represent the views of the wider church."

"Those Christians that visit prisoners, and assist with their families, understand that Jesus directed his followers to visit prisoners, and that the gospel calls us to treat prisoners as though we were ourselves imprisoned."

"Volunteers provide a wide range of services to prisoners. Apart from assisting the chaplaincy with church services, and bible studies, they engage in one-to-one visiting with those prisoners who do not have anyone to visit them. They become a listening ear, mentor, confidante, and friend. Many Christians provide a range of constructive activity – art classes, carving tuition, remedial reading, sport and recreation, budget advice, public speaking tuition, and life skills which serve to equip prisoners on release."

"They are a remarkable bunch. One recently retired volunteer had been visiting prisons weekly since 1946. Another volunteer has taken three serous paedophiles into her home over the last fifteen years. She and her husband provided them with a combination of care and accountability - and none of them reoffended."

Kim Workman
National Director
Prison Fellowship of New Zealand


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The National Leadership “Contest”

Key’s endorsement of English has turned this “contest” into a race for second place.

This succession was well planned. Lets not forget that English was told by Key in September of his intention to resign, and English was the only member of Cabinet entrusted with that information before it was sprung on everyone else on Monday morning. More>>

Latest: Judith Collins and Jonathan Coleman have withdrawn from the leadership race, leaving Bill English the only candidate to replace John Key as Prime Minister.

 

Education: Charter Schools Misleading Pass Rates

Labour: NCEA results for charter schools have been massively overstated... In one case a school reported a 93.3 per cent pass rate when the facts show only 6.7 per cent of leavers achieved NCEA level two. More>>

ALSO:

Rebstock Report Resolution: SSC Apologises To Derek Leask And Nigel Fyfe

Following a complaint by Mr Leask, the Ombudsman found that the State Services Commission acted unreasonably in relation to Mr Leask and identified numerous deficiencies in the investigation process and in the publication of the final report and in the criticisms it contained of Mr Leask... More>>

ALSO:

International Rankings: Student Results 'Show More Resourcing Needed'

NZEI: New Zealand had only held relatively steady in international rankings in some areas because the average achievement for several other OECD countries had lowered the OECD average -- not because our student achievement has improved. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Salvation Army Report: Beyond The Prison Gate Report

A new Salvation Army report says changes must be made to how prisoners re-enter society for New Zealanders to feel safe and secure in their homes and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Surprise Exit: Gordon Campbell On The Key Resignation

The resignation of John Key is one thing. The way that Key and his deputy Bill English have screwed the scrum on the leadership succession vote (due on December 12) is something else again. It remains to be seen whether the party caucus – ie, the ambitious likes of Steven Joyce, Judith Collins, Paula Bennett, and Amy Adams – will simply roll over... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news