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

Another Leader Exiting: Statement From Peter Dunne

I have concluded, based on recent polling, and other soundings I have been taking over the last few weeks, that, the volatility and uncertainty notwithstanding, there is now a mood amongst Ōhāriu voters for a change of MP, which is unlikely to alter...

“I have therefore decided that it is time for me to stand aside, so the people of Ōhāriu can elect a new electorate MP. More>>

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Shiny And Chrome: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election