24 May 2017

New drug and alcohol measures criticised

From Morning Report, 6:44 am on 24 May 2017

Police and Corrections officers have been given greater powers to monitor offenders in the community who have been ordered to avoid alcohol and drugs.

Some serious offenders will even be fitted with alcohol detection anklets which can detect alcohol in their sweat.

Other Corrections initiatives to tackle the problem include 13 new beds for offenders with significant alcohol and drug needs, 16 new alcohol and drug aftercare workers in prisons, and a 24/7 alcohol and drug support phone line for offenders/prisoners which goes live today.

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Photo: Supplied / Matua Raki

The manager of the National Addiction Workforce Development Centre, Vanessa Caldwell, said the new initiatives were "underwhelming."

The Corrections Minister, Louise Upston, said the anklets are for the highest risk offenders.

"The real aspect of this is about community safety," she said.

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New anklet that is able to detect alcohol in sweat Photo: RNZ /Edward O'Driscoll