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

 


Drug Treatment Unit marks milestone

News Release

For immediate release 29 May 2014

Drug Treatment Unit marks milestone

Otago Corrections Facility’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the graduation of its 50th Drug and Alcohol Programme on Friday, 23 May. The ceremony was attended by graduates of the programme, Corrections and CareNZ staff as well as Corrections Deputy Chief Executive Christine Stevenson and Kathryn Leafe, CEO CareNZ.

The DTU, which is operated by national treatment provider CareNZ in conjunction with the Department of Corrections, supports prisoners to address their alcohol and drug issues. It provides participants with the skills to help maintain positive behavioural changes upon release back into the community.

“The 50th graduation in our DTU at Otago Corrections Facility is not only a great achievement for the participants, but also for us as a treatment provider,’ says Kathryn Leafe, CEO of CareNZ. ‘The success shows us that the programme helps prisoners to make changes and address their alcohol and drug use and offending – for the benefit of themselves, their whānau and the community.”

In total 536 prisoners have graduated from the DTU’s three month rehabilitation programme since it was opened in 2010.

“This is a significant milestone for Corrections, the prisoners graduating and for the community,” says Jack Harrison, Prison Manager Otago Corrections Facility.

“By tackling drug and alcohol abuse, we’re giving people a shot at a better life, and in turn we’re giving the people of New Zealand a better community to live in.”

Operating as a Therapeutic Community, the DTU is a separate unit away from the mainstream prison and provides a supportive and caring environment for the prisoners. The community (i.e. prisoners) and staff work together to establish an environment in which participants feel safe to address their own issues, provide support and motivate others. The programme is supported by the use of mentors, who themselves are graduates of the DTU.

Through structured group work, social skills training and therapy groups the treatment programme addresses factors that influence participants’ alcohol and drug use. Prisoners who have successfully completed a course in the DTU gain the skills and techniques that will aid them in remaining alcohol and drug free and in recognising trigger points in their lives that could cause them to relapse.

Graduating from the programme in the DTU is an important step for the participants and gives them hope for a new start after their release. One of the graduates commented:

“Through the DTU course I was given so much help and support with understanding and altering my values and beliefs. The course changes the way you think around your addiction and makes it clear that with help you can become a better person in yourself,” says Tony (not his real name).

More than 50% of crime in New Zealand is committed by people under the influence of drugs and alcohol and two-thirds of prisoners have substance abuse problems. Providing increased alcohol and drug treatment is one of the ways the Department aims to reduce re-offending by 25% by 2017.

Research into the effectiveness of the Drug Treatment Units has shown that people who have been through the drug treatment programmes commit less crime and once people have tackled their addictions they can also be motivated to complete other essential rehabilitation programmes.

There are strict criteria for entry to the programme; most importantly prisoners must acknowledge that they have an addiction and be motivated to make a change in their lives.

There are nine specialist Drug Treatment Units around the country. CareNZ has worked alongside the Department of Corrections in facilitating Drug Treatment Units across New Zealand since 1997, when the first DTU in Arohata Prison was opened.

There is also a range of drug and alcohol rehabilitation and intervention programmes offered to offenders on community sentences.

Corrections is committed to reducing reoffending by 25% by 2017. A strategy to achieve this goal is expanding available drug and alcohol initiatives. This will mean, by 2017:

• 4,000 more prisoners a year in expanded alcohol and drug programmes

• 1,200 prisoners a year receiving brief alcohol and drug interventions from health staff

• 5,800 more community offenders a year receiving externally provided alcohol and drug programmes

• 22,000 community offenders a year receiving brief alcohol and drug interventions from probation officers

ENDS

About CareNZ:

CareNZ provides a range of interventions and services to address the harms caused by alcohol and drugs. These range from low threshold advice, information and advocacy based services, to assessment, care co-ordination, individual counselling, group therapy and high care residential services including therapeutic communities.

We operate services on 17 sites across New Zealand, in the community and in prisons. Last year, our 140 staff assisted over 7,000 clients.

CareNZ is currently operating eight prison-based Drug Treatment Units across the country: Spring Hill Corrections Facility, Waikeria Prison, Whanganui Prison, Hawkes Bay Regional Prison, Rimutaka Prison, Arohata Prison, Christchurch Men’s Prison and Otago Corrections Facility.

For more information please visit www.carenz.co.nz

Media Contact: 027 530 1581

Department of Corrections – Further information:

The Minister of Corrections recently released a media release about an increase in drug and alcohol treatment for prisoners: http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/massive-rise-prisoner-drug-and-alcohol-treatment.

For more information about drug and alcohol treatment please see our website: http://www.corrections.govt.nz/resources/tackling_alcohol_and_drug_abuse.html.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news