25 June 2010
The first group of prisoners to undertake a new short-course Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) programme graduated today at Otago Corrections Facility (OCF).
“While the unit was officially opened yesterday by the Minister for Corrections, the first intake of prisoners for us happened back in March,” says Prison Manager Jack Harrison.
“They have spent the past 12 weeks gaining the necessary tools to turn their lives around. They were in temporary facilities while the new building was being constructed, but I hope the changes these prisoners have made is permanent.
“The DTU is a vital part of our prison’s rehabilitation efforts and I am pleased we are able to offer prisoners serving shorter sentences an intensive programme to help reduce their re-offending. This will ultimately make our communities safer.”
Prisoners who participate in the DTU programme have been identified as having an addiction which has been a factor in their crimes. To be accepted on the programme the prisoners had to acknowledge they have an addiction and accept they need to do something about it.
“The prisoners have to be motivated to make the change or else it’s a waste of time and taxpayer money. The guys graduating today have shown this commitment and have done really well.
“They all signed a contract which included a requirement for them to stay drug and alcohol free. To make sure of this, the prisoners had to undergo additional drug tests.
“We have high hopes of the prisoners continuing to use the skills and techniques learnt while in the DTU to help them remain drug free and to help them recognise the trigger points that could cause them to relapse."
Notes to reporter:
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