9 Jun 2014

Culture connections cut reoffending

6:49 am on 9 June 2014

A new study has found Maori inmates believe they are less likely to reoffend if they are taught to positively identify with their culture in prison.

A senior social sciences lecturer at the Auckland University of Technology, Camille Nakhid, studied Maori ex-inmates to look at why most reoffend within two years of being released from jail.

The study revealed that contributing factors were gang connections and a lack of financial resources.

Dr Nakhid said the punitive system did not make them feel guilty or give them a reason to stop reoffending.

She said kaupapa Maori rehabilitation and cultural activities like kapa haka helped them positively connect with their culture.

Dr Nakhid said that helped them realise that their actions were impacting their whanau and society and that made a difference.