Offenders serving community work sentences in Auckland have been receiving text prompts to remind them when and where they are required to report to serve their community work sentences.
For the past three weeks the Manurewa and Papakura Community Probation and Psychological Services (CPPS) Service Centres have been trialling a new text messaging system aimed at increasing offender attendance to community work.
The process starts at placement assessment when the offenders are asked if they are happy to receive text reminders on their phones. Their numbers are then added into the online system which then automatically sends out text reminders the day before the offender is scheduled to work.
Papakura CPPS Service Manager Ali Rei says they’re already noticing a difference at the Service Centre. “The system seems to be taking effect as we’ve already noticed that the text prompts are increasing the number of offenders contacting us about their sentence requirements.”
The messaging service operates on a standard Vodafone system which is widely used by businesses such as doctors and dentists to remind people when they have scheduled appointments.
The trial is running for 10 weeks at Manurewa and 12 weeks at Papakura. Once complete, the trial periods at both sites will be assessed to determine how effective the new system has been towards increasing offender attendance.
Manukau CPPS Area Manager Darius Fagan says the new system could be a great new tool to help remind offenders when and where they are required to work.
“This new system is just one tool to improve reporting compliance. We’re still in the early stages of trialling the system and we will have a better indication of its effectiveness once the trial has been assessed.
“If the results are positive we will consider more widespread use of the system. We are also already thinking about how this initiative could be useful in sentences other than community work too.”
Each year New Zealand communities benefit from almost three million hours of labour supplied through offenders serving their community work sentences as reparation for their offending.
For further information contact the Communications Services Desk:
Phone: (04) 460 3365
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