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Minister Collins makes unhelpful comments


Corrections Minister makes unhelpful links between sex offenders and the mental health system

Platform is disappointed in Corrections Minister, Judith Collins’ comments this week on TV One’s Q+A programme that connected child sex offenders to the mental health system.

On the programme, Minister Collins states “let’s be frank here - before we got rid of the institutionalisation in the mental health system, a lot of these people would have been actually housed there.”

Minister Collins went on to seemingly express disappointment that institutional options are no longer an available option in New Zealand.

“In our wisdom in the 90s [we] decided to open up the institution gates and we’ve ended up with them in prisons.”

The programme focussed on the challenges around placement of people convicted of sex offences in the community after the completion of their prison sentence.

“It is disappointing to see a Minister in New Zealand suggesting in 2016 that institutionalisation is a desirable option and promoting the idea that sex offenders sit inherently within the mental health system,” says Marion Blake, CEO of Platform Trust. “New Zealand’s justice and mental health systems have both made incredible progress in moving away from archaic models of care and these comments are unhelpful.”

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