29 Jun 2010

Inmates calls for prison courses based on traditional values

5:43 pm on 29 June 2010

Pacific Island prisoners graduating from a cultural course at Springhill Correctional Facility near Meremere are asking for more rehabilitation programmes based on traditional values.

One of the graduates, who has been in prison for 18 years, pleaded with the audience at the graduation to lobby the government to fund more courses, saying the three years study is the best thing he has ever done.

Another who leaves prison this week says the course is the reason he won't be coming back.

A retired judge from Samoa, Enoke Pune, says rediscovering lost cultural values is powerful and he'd support the programme going to other prisons.

More Maori-focused courses urged

A former prison inmate wants to see more Maori-focused courses made available to serving prisoners.

As part of his probation, ex-prisoner 'Gypsy' has just finished a week long course at Auckland's Nga Whare Waatea marae on tikanga and the dynamics of whanaungatanga.

'Gypsy' told Waatea News the discussions on the restoration of mana struck a chord, and was the sort of thing that could reach those still inside.

"I really like to see some of these programmes brought to jail, so our whanau there can learn to stay out of jail."

He said current programmes were not working.