Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Labour cuts prisoner drug programmes

Simon Power National Party Law & Order Spokesman

26 May 2006

Labour cuts prisoner drug programmes

The Corrections Minister should explain why his department is replacing specialist drug and alcohol rehab programmes for prisoners with extra content in general criminogenic programmes, says National's Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power.

He is releasing answers from Damien O'Connor that show:

* Dedicated drug and alcohol programmes are being scrapped, with drug and alcohol issues to be dealt with in general programmes.
* There are now 25% more prisoners identified as drug users than in 2002. * There is a waiting list of 199 for 44 places in specialist drug treatment units.

"The move to halt these specialist programmes and replace them with general programmes is concerning, given that the number of prisoners testing positive for drugs is increasing steadily.

"The number of prisoners on drug and alcohol programmes was already low enough before this move. Just 103 went through the programmes last year when we know that about 83% of the prison population of 7,600 has drug or alcohol problems.

"It's essential the general prison population has access to dedicated programmes," Mr Power says. "If the current ones don't work they should be replaced with ones that will, rather than just being marginalised.

"For all of his talk about reducing prisoner numbers, the Minister has clearly opted for the quick-fix solution of letting them out of jail rather than investing in rehabilitation so they don't come back again.

"Let's get real about preparing prisoners as best we can for their release from prison. This may be the last chance we have of turning some of them around so they can contribute to society in a meaningful way.

"This move seems to fly in the face of comments by Chief executive Barry Matthews last year when he told a workshop of the Drug Foundation that Corrections aims to increase the number of offenders who start and complete drug and alcohol treatment programmes. It seems he forgot to tell his Minister."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Raising Corporate Taxes Has Become A Hot New Political Cause

Surprisingly, “raising taxes” has become a very fashionable political idea in 2021. That’s right. After decades of being seen (at best) as a necessary evil, higher corporate taxes are now being treated as the Great Good Thing that will revive the US economy, re-distribute wealth productively, help to build neglected and decaying public infrastructure, fund public health, address social inequality, restore a sense of community and generally make everyone feel better about the society in which they live... More>>


Government: Delivers Next Phase Of Climate Action

The Government is delivering on a key election commitment to tackle climate change, by banning new low and medium temperature coal-fired boilers and partnering with the private sector to help it transition away from fossil fuels. This is the first ... More>>

Government: Independent Experts To Advise On Post-Vaccination Future

The Government is acting to ensure decisions on responding to the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic are informed by the best available scientific evidence and strategic public health advice. “New Zealand has worked towards an elimination ... More>>

Travel: Trans-Tasman Bubble To Start 19 April

New Zealand’s successful management of COVID means quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia will start on Monday 19 April, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and COVID-19 Response Minister Chris ... More>>


Health: Drug-Testing Law To Be Made Permanent

Interim legislation that is already proving to keep people safer from drugs will be made permanent, Health Minister Andrew Little says. More>>

World Travel: New Zealand Temporarily Suspending Travel From India - PM Jacinda Ardern

Travel into New Zealand from India - including for New Zealand citizens and residents - is being temporarily suspended because of high numbers of Covid-19 cases. More>>

Finance: Crown Accounts Again Better Than Forecast

Hon Grant Robertson Minister of Finance The economic recovery from COVID-19 continues to be reflected in the Government’s books, which are again better than expected. The Crown accounts for the eight months to the end of February 2021 showed both OBEGAL ... More>>




InfoPages News Channels