Pillars: Breaking the Cycle of Crime
Breaking the Cycle of Crime
More than 20,000 children in New Zealand have a parent in prison. Without the proper support, these kids are seven times more likely to end up in prison themselves.
This year, Pillars annual Children of Prisoners Week campaign is “Breaking The Cycle”, with a free public exhibition display in Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland from 23rd to 27th September.
The exhibition titled ‘Collateral Convicts’ details the journey a child goes through when a parent goes to prison.
Children of prisoners are often left with many unanswered questions about their future and the future of their parent. They feel confused and traumatised by what they have experienced.
Pillars is an organisation that supports these families and their children by providing social services and mentoring programmes to guide them towards the path of a better future.
Pillars Founder and CEO, Verna McFelin, has worked with children of prisoners’ and found that they suffer isolation through judgement from friends, family and the community.
“There is often a sense of shame and a fear of being labelled. No one appears to understand or care what is happening to them and their self-confidence is eroded by people criticising their relationship with the prisoner.”
These families have chosen to opt into the Pillars programmes, taking that first step to breaking the cycle of intergenerational offending.
Pillars is committed to making positive steps to improve the outcomes for these children and reduce the cycle of crime within the community.
The campaign is focused on building awareness about the positive changes Pillars has made for the New Zealand community, and engaging more males to become mentors. There is a constant struggle to find male mentors to match with young children of prisoners.
Mentoring co-ordinator Georgina Langdon-Pole stresses the importance of a strong male figure for the future of these children’s lives.
“Mentoring gives children confidence, and a sense of hope. Our mentoring programme not only shows children a different, more positive way of life but also helps to reduce the cycle of intergenerational crime," says Ms Langdon-Pole.
The charity also celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, with a launch in Parliament on Tuesday, 24th September.
To keep up to date with what’s happening during the week please like our page on Facebook, www.facebook.com/Pillars.inc and for more information on Pillars please visit www.pillars.org.nz and http://www.givealittle.co.nz/org/PILLARS
Children of Prisoners Week: 23rd – 29th September 2013
• Collateral Convicts Exhibition – Monday, 23rd – Friday, 27th September at Parliament Building (open to Parliament members, staff and visitors).
• Children of Prisoner’s Week Launch at Parliament House – Tuesday 24th September, cross party event hosted by David Clendon MP (invitation only).
• Collateral Convicts Exhibition – Monday, 23rd – Friday, 27th September, 9AM – 5PM (open to the public)
• Meat For A Cause Sausage Sizzle – Thursday, 26th September, 12pm –1pm (exclusive to Telecom employees)
• Introductory Mentoring Session- Thursday, 26th September, 1pm – 2pm (open to the public)
• Blokes Breakfast with Pillars Ambassador former All Black Brad Thorn – Friday, 27th September, 7.30am- 8.30am (exclusive to Telecom employees)
• All Auckland Events will be held on the ground floor of Telecom Place- 167 Victoria Street West
• Collateral Convicts Exhibition – Monday, 23rd – Friday, 27th September, 9AM – 5PM, The Undercroft, Canterbury University (open to the staff, students and visitors on campus)
• Children of Prisoner’s Week Stakeholder Event – Wednesday 25th September, 2PM, The Undercroft, Canterbury University Function Room (invitation only).
• Collateral Convicts Exhibition – Saturday - Sunday, 28-29 September, 9AM – 5PM, Bush Inn Centre (open to the public)