New Plymouth prisoner reintegration centre a good step

Press Release – Salvation Army

The plan to close New Plymouth Prison and replace it with prisoner community reintegration services is a positive move, The Salvation Army says. MEDIA RELEASE

For immediate release

— Wellington, Wednesday 31 May 2012.

New Plymouth prisoner reintegration centre a significant step.

The plan to close New Plymouth Prison and replace it with prisoner community reintegration services is a positive move, The Salvation Army says.

Prisons have a bad track record of reducing re-offending and re-imprisonment rates, and for this reason we are glad to see a reduction in the number of prisons and the introduction more effective ways of dealing with criminal offending, Salvation Army Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit Director Major Campbell Roberts says.

The Victorian era prison is unsuitable for rehabilitating prisoners and lowering the rates of recidivism and re-imprisonment, he says.

“We believe the Department of Corrections proposal to establish prisoner community reintegration services will go some way to reducing the country’s worryingly high rates of re-offending and re-imprisonment.”

“Effective rehabilitation and community reintegration programmes are essential to ensure our communities are safe and to reduce the financial and social costs of crime,” he says.

Access to housing, education programmes, particularly literacy, employment training, assistance with finding work and addictions treatment will be critical if released prisoners are to have a fair go at building and maintaining stable lives out in the community, Major Roberts says.

The Salvation Army has been committed to prisoner reintegration since its inception, and in New Zealand it continues to provide social reintegration programmes, courts and prison chaplaincy and supported accommodation for recently released prisoners.

Issued on the Authority of Commissioner Donald Bell (Territorial Commander)
The Salvation Army, New Zealand Fiji & Tonga Territory
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