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

Open Source // Open Society - Full Coverage

Gordon Campbell:
On The Reserve Bank And Auckland Housing

The ‘crisis – what crisis?’ response by the government to the Auckland housing price bubble is no longer acceptable.

So says Reserve Bank governor Grant Spencer – who used unusually frank language in his speech and subsequent interviews yesterday to call for a capital gains tax, and to generally chastise central and local government for their inaction on a threat to the country’s economic health and financial stability.

That threat has been real for some time. The housing price bubble has already created a currency bubble... Undaunted, the government keeps calling this situation a success story. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Bangladesh: GCSB Dragging NZ Into Human Rights Abuses

The New Zealand government should stop providing intelligence assistance to Bangladeshi security agencies that are known to systematically engage in human rights abuses, said the Green Party today. More>>

ALSO:

Troops Heading To Iraq: Government Must Come Clean On Deployment

New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture of secrecy and unknown protections around the deployment.” More>>

ALSO:

Image: Strikers And Protestors Join Outside McDonald's

A group of protestors took to McDonald’s Manners St today as a part of the international fast food workers day of action to end zero hour contracts. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Special Education Funds Not Spent

More than $32 million of funding for children with special needs has not been spent by the Government, despite families of children with special needs complaining for years that they’ve been denied the support they deserve. More>>

ALSO:

John Key: Pre-Budget Speech To Business NZ

So this Government will remain relentlessly focused on improving the competitiveness of our economy... We will continue to give businesses a platform to invest, grow and create jobs in the knowledge they will be backed by a clear and consistent government policy programme. More>>

ALSO:

Multimedia: Andrew Little’s Response To John Key’s Pre-Budget Address

Labour Party leader Andrew Little spoke today on John Key’s pre-budget address this afternoon in Wellington. Little said National has had seven years to achieve a surplus and Kiwis have “fufilled their end of the bargain.” More>>

Surplus Baggage: Key Backs Off ‘Artificial Target’

John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On UE Pass Rates And University Dropout Rates

Houston, there is clearly a problem with (a) the plunge in pass rates for University Entrance qualifications, which has been especially steep among Maori students and also a problem with (b) the failure rates for Maori students among those who reach university... Unfortunately the two problems seem related. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news