New prisoner reintegration service to get under way

  • Anne Tolley

Corrections Minister Anne Tolley says a new reintegration service to help steer just-released prisoners away from a return to crime will begin this month.

Five providers have been selected to operate the $10 million “Out of Gate” service, funded over two years by the Justice Sector Fund in Budget 2013.

The post-release service will support prisoners before, and immediately after they leave prison, when they are trying to readjust to life on the outside and are most at risk of reoffending.

Dedicated providers will support up to 4000 prisoners, serving sentences of less than two years, to settle back into the community by helping them access employment, accommodation, education and training, and social services.

“We don’t want to see offenders creating more victims and ending up back in our prisons, costing the taxpayer even more money,” says Mrs Tolley.

“They are being provided with access to education, training, and drug and alcohol rehabilitation while inside the wire, and we want them to go on to make a positive contribution to society.

“This new reintegration service will ensure that offenders are given every opportunity to turn their lives around rather than slip back into their bad old ways.

“Corrections has reduced reoffending by 11 per cent, as it aims for our goal of a 25 per cent reduction by 2017, and this new programme can make an important contribution towards that.”

Five providers have been contracted to provide the service at specific prison sites. They are:

  • Presbyterian Support Northern: Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility, Arohata Prison, Christchurch Women’s Prison.
  • Goodwood Park Healthcare Group: Waikeria Prison, Tongariro/Rangipo Prison.
  • CareNZ: Christchurch Men’s Prison, Rolleston Prison, Otago Corrections Facility, Invercargill Prison.
  • Healthcare of New Zealand Ltd: Whanganui Prison, Hawke’s Bay Prison, Manawatu Prison, Rimutaka Prison.
  • National Urban Maori Authority (NUMA): Northland Region Corrections Facility, Auckland Prison, Mount Eden Corrections Facility, Spring Hill Corrections Facility.