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Provisional Support for prisoner work plan

Provisional Support for Prime Minister’s prisoner work/education/rehabilitation - strategy

“One of the great myths perpetuated by some sectors of the community, is that prisoners are by nature lazy and don’t want to work” says Kim Workman, spokesperson for Rethinking Crime and Punishment.

“Most prisoners would enjoy the opportunity to work a 40 hour week – their main complain about prison is the level of enforced idleness.”

“That is the main reason we provisionally support the Prime Minister’s announcement that Rolleston, Tongariro and Auckland Women's prisoners will engage in full-time work, education or rehabilitation. “We will however, be seeking more information so that we can consider the merits of this proposal in depth.”

“Many long term prisoners lose their work ethic while in prison and the transition will need te be carefully managed. Given the poor mental and social health of some prisoners, finding suitable work for everyone will present something of a challenge. There are also of course, international conventions relating to prison and forced labour which will need to be observed.”

“It would be unfortunate if it resulted in the transfer from the three prisons, of prisoners who for a variety of reasons are not suitable for work. One of the attractive features of New Zealand prisons is that offenders from diverse backgrounds can learn to live together in a positive and supportive way.”

“Increased rehabilitation and education is also supported. Rethinking wants to see a significant increase in community based rehabilitation, and an expansion of the prison-based rehabilitation framework to include approaches other than those based on behavioural psychology.”


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