30 Apr 2014

Maori recidivism may be reduced

6:57 am on 30 April 2014

A Department of Corrections executive is certain it can reduce the rate of Maori inmates re-offending, and hopes it could lead to Maori-focused programmes no longer being needed.

Prison bars

Photo: RNZ

All five prisons with Maori Focus Units have now adopted a national plan, which aims to reduce re-offending by 30 percent.

The eighteen month programme for male prisoners consists of up to six stages, and covers areas such as improving education, addressing drug and alcohol problems and working with their whanau to help with their return to society.

Director of Maori at Corrections, Neil Campbell, says he's sure its target is achievable.

He says he hopes the country gets to a point where there is no need for Maori-targeted prison rehabilitation programmes because the ambition is that programmes such as Te Tirohanga would reduce Maori prisoner numbers sufficiently.

Mr Campbell says more to the point, programmes such as Te Tirohanga becomes the standard way of helping inmates of all nationalities not just tangata whenua.