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Prisoner Healthcare Committee a Positive Move

Prisoner Healthcare Committee a Positive Move

“The establishment of a national prisoner healthcare committee could reduce health sector costs in the long term”, said Kim Workman, Director of Rethinking Crime and Punishment. The department yesterday announced that a national committee has been established, made up of experts from the community health sector including Medical Officers, nursing and quality assurance professionals, and an advisor to support services to Maori.

“This is a positive move by the Department of Corrections in improving prisoner healthcare, an area of major concern for some years now. The National Health Committee’s ‘Health in Justice’ report, released in July 2010, identified that poor health was in itself a driver of crime. Deficiencies in the healthcare of prisoners not only promotes increased criminal behaviour crime, but becomes a burden on the taxpayer. The new national committee could well contribute to a reduction in both costs and crime.”

“Seventy per cent of offenders in prison today, will be released within the next seven months. Delays and deferral of prisoner medical treatment transfers the cost to the already underfunded public health system. Ultimately, prisoner health affects the state of public health.”

We are very encouraged by the new changes within Corrections, and its willingness to collaborate with other agencies and providers in its efforts to reduce crime. There is a culture shift occurring, which recognises that crime reduction is everybody’s business.”


ENDS

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