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Thursday, 16 August 2018 03:36 pm

Corrections move to cut ever increasing re-offending rates

Mar 9th, 2018 | By | Category: Radio News

Image: Kevin Stent, Fairfax

The Salvation Army’s State of the Nation report released last week shows re-conviction and re-imprisonment rates are rising.

The report says a third of prisoners are back in prison within a year after release.

Despite nearly two hundred million dollars being spent on rehabilitation programmes last year, New Zealand’s reoffending rates are the highest since 2003.

However the people behind some of those programmes say good rehabilitation does lead to fewer reoffenders.

Nicky Perkins from the Te Whare Manaakitanga Special Treatment Unit, STURP, at Rimutaka Prisons says the men work through rehabilitation programmes in groups of ten, for up to 12 months.

The inmates can also participate in extra-curricular activities like a creative writing workshop.

The workshop run by the Write Where You Are Collective, teaches them to write creatively and practice the skills taught in therapy.

A Victoria University study called Surviving the First Year shows men who completed programmes in STURPS were 37 percent less likely to reoffend, than those with a similar offending history who had not undergone treatment.

Martin Bosley is a chef who mentors the programme Gate to Plate, a chefing course for prisoners serving some of the longest sentences at Rimutaka Prison.

He works with six men for six months, culminating in leading up to the now famous Wellington on a Plate prison dining experience.

Tickets to the event sell out in less than three minutes.

Martin Bosley says while it was hard to come to terms with mentoring men who had committed serious crimes, he believes people can change.

In the programme, the men learn to cook food they may have never heard of before, and are ultimately responsible for designing and preparing the menu for the Wellington on a Plate guests.

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