Report highlights need for focus on integration of ex-prisoners

By Online News - Rereātea

A Salvation Army Report has identified a number of areas it believes the Government should focus on to assist in the reintegration and re-offending of ex-prisoners.

The report highlights the ballooning prison population and growing expenditure on expanding prisons. It predicts that in 2017 it will likely exceed 10 thousand inmates.

It also stresses the fact that while Māori make up only 15% of the general population, they are over-represented in the prison population by almost 51%.

At least 12 recommendations have been presented for consideration, with one urging the Department of Corrections to adequately engage and provide resources for alternative methods of whānau, hapū/iwi and community led integration services.

It says the Government should recognise the fundamental role of whānau and whanaungatanga in the social integration of Māori ex-prisoners.  

The report also highlights an urgent need for the Department of Corrections to reduce racial inequalities in re-offending and make this a strategic priority. It urges the Department to work closer with the Ministry of Health and District Health Boards to ensure the health of ex-prisoners and their whānau.

The full report can be read by clicking on this link.