Nine prisoners graduated from the drug treatment programme run at Hawkes Bay Prison on Friday 21 May.
“It is great to see yet another group of prisoners benefit from this programme. Around 100 prisoners a year graduate from this programme at Hawkes Bay Prison and their feedback is always very positive,” says Prison Manager George Massingham.
"The programme was a life changing experience that challenges your beliefs and yourself. It gives you an awareness and coping skills as well as a positive outlook on life, that you can change,” said one of the graduating prisoners.
The graduates entered the programme acknowledging their addiction and accepting the need to do something about it. Each prisoner signs a contract upon entry to the Drug Treatment Unit (DTU), which includes a requirement to stay drug and alcohol free. The prisoners must also submit to random drug tests to ensure they are sticking to their commitment.
“It is no secret that drug and alcohol addiction is a big issue amongst prisoners, the DTU programme gives participants the tools to turn their lives around, by allowing them to address their addictions which are often a significant reason for their offending,” says Mr Massingham.
“By reducing offenders’ drug and alcohol misuse we make it easier for offenders to reintegrate into the community, hold down employment and make it less likely they will re-offend.
“This is a rigorous 24-week course, if staff aren’t confident a prisoner has completed part of the course satisfactorily they won’t graduate. Through the programme the prisoners gain skills and techniques that will aid them in remaining drug free and in recognising trigger points in their lives that could cause them to relapse.
"The graduation was attended by a number of family and whanau of the graduates, it was good to see them there to support their family members, this support is essential in helping keep these prisoners on the straight and narrow.”
The Department of Corrections has a significant focus to reduce re-offending and the Drug Treatment Units are a key tool in helping us to achieve this outcome.
Notes to Editors
There areseven operational Drug Treatment Units around the country. Six of these run a 24-week drug treatment programme. The remaining unit runs a condensed 12-week programme to treat prisoners serving shorter sentences. Two new DTUs will being operational by the end of 2011. These two units will also run the condensed 12 week programme.
The Department of Corrections’ Drug and Alcohol Strategy 2009-2014 includes doubling the number of prisoners receiving drug and alcohol treatment from 500 to 1000 per year by 2011.
The first DTU programme at Hawkes Bay Prison commenced on 21 May 2007. There have been 285 prisoners through the programme to date, and with 15 new prisoners set to begin the programme in June 2010 it will mean 300 prisoners have been through the programme since it begun.
For further information contact the Communications Services Desk:
Copyright © Department of Corrections | Feedback and queries email: email@example.com