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

 

Prisoners make homework bags for children

Prisoners make homework bags for children

Prisoners have been giving back to the community and learning new skills by making homework bags for vulnerable children.

More than 1000 homework bags, which are often a required item in back-to-school stationery lists, have been sewn by men at Northland Region Corrections Facility (NRCF).

They were handed over to Prison Fellowship New Zealand (PFNZ) yesterday by Corrections director employment and reintegration Stephen Cunningham.

They will be distributed by PFNZ, which supports a number of children and families of prisoners through its whanau-focused reintegration work with offenders.

PFNZ helps put together back-to-school packs for these children as a way of helping already vulnerable families. Corrections, which contracts PFNZ to provide reintegration services for offenders, was looking for practical ways to support PFNZ in this and hit on the idea of utilising the sewing skills of the men at NRCF.

“Children with a parent in prison are statistically more likely to end up in prison themselves. The homework bags are one small way we can help these kids do better at school and reduce the financial burden on families who may already be struggling. It may not be much but it’s a symbol of how seriously we take our commitment to reducing the prison population and keeping our communities safe,” says Cunningham.

“Many of these children, and their families, do not have much and are grateful for all they receive. The homework bags remind the children that they are valued and they are loved and reinforces that education is worthwhile,” says PFNZ national director Marama Parore.

“For some of these children, outlets such as education or a special interest - which we often support through our closer work with families - can provide a positive and constructive outlet which helps to ensure that they do not fall into the prison cycle,” she says.

“The homework bags are an important way that we can continue to work with these children and their families. We would like to see as many of these children as possible receive the homework bags.”

The bags were designed and made by men engaged in prison industry, from donated materials.

NRCF’s sewing activities Corrections Officer Joanne Hammerton says sewing gives the men the chance to learn skills such as patience and problem-solving and can help with numeracy and literacy skills through measuring, calculating and reading patterns.

“Making homework bags for the children of prisoners also gives the men the opportunity to give back to their communities and learn about compassion,” she says.

“The prisoners learn both hand and machine sewing, skills that can be used on the outside. I have bumped into a couple of released prisoners in the community who have been through the workshop. One was making clothes for his children and the other was making quilts.”

PFNZ receives support from Corrections for its BreakFree reintegration service. It prioritises whanau/family support preparing whanau for a prisoner’s return home and seeks to engage the offender in holistic whanau-focused support through Angel Tree.

Its long-standing Angel Tree programme distributed close to 5000 Christmas gifts to children on behalf of prisoners last year.

“We want to support the children of prisoners, and their families, to break the cycle, live their dreams and be the best versions of themselves they can be. The children that PFNZ supports are at risk of falling into many destructive paths, including crime, drugs, gangs and so many others. We want to help them to break the cycle,” Parore says.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Perils Of Using PPPs To Meet Auckland’s Roading Needs

More than once, the coalition government has ruled out using public private partnerships (PPPs) to fund the country’s infrastructure needs in health and education – apparently private profiteering in those areas is recognised as being undesirable. Not the same story though with transport, and the reasons for that differential treatment are mystifying. Earlier today, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced that one of two new roads that the government would be co-financing would be a PPP – namely, the Penlink project that will link the northern motorway to the Whangaparaoa Peninsula.

More>>

 
 

HiveMind: Fair Enough? How Should New Zealanders Be Taxed?

Have Your Say - Scoop and PEP invite you to share your issues, ideas and perspectives on the NZ tax system with other New Zealanders using Scoop’s HiveMind tool. This Tax HiveMind is intended to complement and feed into the review being run by the Government-appointed Tax Working Group (TWG), which is looking at the fairness, balance and structure of the tax system with a 10-year time horizon. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Thompson + Clark & Russia’s World Cup

Daily, the coalition government keeps running into examples of the toxic legacy left behind by National – and just as regularly, even the simple fixes are proving stubbornly difficult to enact. Take the case of the security firm Thompson + Clark ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The GCSB’s Security Hang-Up With Russia

So our GCSB has chimed in, alongside its British, Australian and US allies, with warnings about a “fresh wave” of Russian cyber attacks, although the warning has been curiously framed. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Europe Trip: CHOGM & Bilateral Meetings

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in Europe for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and meetings with counterparts in Paris and Berlin. More>>

ALSO:


Addressing Climate Change: No New Offshore Exploration Permits

The Coalition Government is taking an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Road Safety Summit: Actions To Improve Identified

The Local Government Road Safety Summit held last week identified actions that will lead to lasting changes to road safety in New Zealand, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages