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Te Hurihanga Closure Defies Logic

Te Hurihanga Closure Defies Logic - Rethinking Crime and Punishment

“The government’s decision to close Te Hurihanga defies logic”, said Kim Workman, of Rethinking Crime and Punishment.

“Te Hurihanga was deliberately designed, after comprehensive consultation with rehabilitation experts, the Commissioner of Police, and Tainui, to target the most serious young offenders and their families and whanau. After years of planning, and initial support from philanthropists such as Sir Stephen Tindall, this programme ha all the signs of being a world leader in the transformation of highly dysfunctional young offenders, who without intensive intervention, would end up in prison.

“We know that 20% of all young offenders are responsible for 90% of the youth crime. No other programme in New Zealand has targeted the top end of young offenders in this way. The 18 month programme is the minimum required to make a difference to these “one man crime waves”. The reoffending rate so far, shows that this programe has the potential to be a world beater.

“A cost benefit analysis by Price Waterhouse estimated that this programme would break even after five years. You can’t assess its value simply on the annual cost per offender.
The $167,000 per annum cost per offender is a wise investment, for someone who without treatment, is likely to spend around ten of the next twenty years in prison, at a total cost of $800,000 or $100,000 a year.”

“Te Hurihanga is designed to care for 80 very serious offenders over the next 10 years at a cost of $17m. The taxpayer cost per offender if this programme is shut down, will be around $80m over the next decade.”

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“There are no alternative programmes of that quality currently available. It would be a bad investment to place the facility in the hands of Child, Youth and Family, as 40% of all prisoners have been in state care.”

“Our view is that the government should conduct a cost-benefit analysis on Te Hurihanga, in comparison to its Fresh Start initiative, and the effective of a prison sentence in reducing reoffending. Then it should invest in the programme that produces the best bang for the buck”


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