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


National misleads on Corrections

14 July, 2006 Media Statement

National misleads on Corrections A&D, rehab courses

The Corrections Department is making significant in-roads in boosting the number of alcohol and drug courses that are available in prisons, Corrections Minister Damien O'Connor said today.

"National's Law and Order spokesman Simon Power is ignoring the facts when he knocks Corrections for not acting to address the demand for drug and alcohol problems in prison.

"In the nine months to March this year, random drug testing in prisons recorded the lowest number of positive tests since testing began – at 15.6 per cent. This compares with 17.4 per cent last year and 34 per cent when National was in power in 1998.

"As well as that, the number of drug and alcohol treatment placements in prisons is to increase to 250 by the end of the year.

Mr O'Connor said that ensuring prisoners receive effective rehabilitation programmes and that they are provided with sufficient work and training opportunities are a vital part of the Corrections Department's work.

In the past few months, the government has made several announcements outlining new initiatives besides the new A&D placements, including:

- An extensive work employment strategy for prisoners, which will, over the next three years: increase from 40 per cent to 60 per cent the number of prisoners in work activities, boost employment hours from 2.9 million to 4.19 million, and lift the number of NZQA units attained from 4800 to 16,632.
- Replacing low-performing criminogenic programmes (designed to get prisoners to address their offending) with more intensive programmes that are better targeted.

"This year, we have taken great strides towards revamping and increasing these programmes and work activities, which can go a long way to incentivising offenders to take responsibility for themselves and turn their lives around," Mr O'Connor said.

These latest steps add to initiatives already underway, including:
- The addition of 16 Corrections reintegration workers, who provide a link between prisoners close to release and outside agencies, such as Housing New Zealand and the Salvation Army.
- Nineteen teams of Work and Income work brokers to support offenders finding employment on their release from prison.

Corrections is re-doubling its efforts to rehabilitate offenders, Mr O'Connor said.

"The Labour-led Government has placed a huge emphasis on protecting the public by making prisons more secure, including an investment of $1 billion. This has been to good effect – breakout escapes have reduced from 31 in 1997/98 to 11 in the past year.

"This is still our number one priority. But with security levels better than ever before, we are now in a position to direct more energies towards getting offenders to contribute to society in a good way."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Our Unreal Optimism About The Economic Impact Of Coronavirus

At this week’s Chinese New Year celebrations, PM Jacinda Ardern was resolutely upbeat that business with China would soon bounce back to normal – better than ever, even - once the coronavirus epidemic has been brought under control. To Ardern, the adversity has only accentuated just how close we are to Beijing Nothing wrong with being upbeat, if it can calm the nerves and turn business sentiment into a self-fulfilling prophecy. The problems begin when the optimism detaches itself from reality. What has been very odd so far about the coronavirus episode is that global share markets – normally spooked by mere sneezes or sniffles in the world’s major economies - have continued to be fairly positive, even as the epidemic has unfolded... More>>

First Published on Werewolf here


Gordon Campbell: On The Political Donations Scandals
Even paranoids have real enemies. While there has been something delusionary about the way New Zealand First has been living in denial about its donations scandal, one can sympathise with its indignation about Paula Bennett and Simon Bridges being among its chief accusers. More>>


UN Expert: NZ Housing Crisis Requires Bold Human Rights Response

This is a press statement from UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing at the end of her 10-day visit to New Zealand. The Government of New Zealand has recognized that the country is facing a housing crisis, said Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur ... More>>


2020 And Beyond: National’s Economic Plan

National Leader Simon Bridges has today outlined National’s economic plan heading into election 2020. “National understands the economy and how it impacts on New Zealanders day to day lives... More>>


Abortion Legislation Committee: Abortion Bill Report Presented To The House

The Abortion Legislation Committee has presented its report on the Abortion Legislation Bill to the House. A copy of the report is available here. The bill seeks to have abortion services provided like other health services... More>>


Auditor-General's Report : Water Management

The Auditor-General’s report Reflecting on our work about water management was presented to the House of Representatives today. Over the last two years we have been looking at how well public organisations are carrying out their water management ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels