19 Aug 2019

Reducing Māori prisoner numbers: Will Corrections deliver?

From Checkpoint, 6:19 pm on 19 August 2019

A new strategy to drastically reduce the Māori prison population is being labelled heroic and brave but the pressure is now on for Corrections to deliver.

After a decade without a Māori strategy, Corrections has today launched Hokai Rangi, which aims to reduce the number of Māori in prison from 50 percent to 16 percent - be proportional to the Māori population.

The change in tack from a punitive system to one that focuses on rehabilitation is exactly what prisoners and reformists have been calling for.

Prisoners will get more visits from whānau and prison staff will be given extra training to ensure prisoners are treated with dignity.

There are currently only five kaupapa Māori programmes in prison.

From now on they will be in every prison. Meriana Johnsen reports.