Corrections is marking Volunteer Awareness Week with events around the country to recognise the importance of volunteering, and the benefits volunteers can bring into the prison environment.
Volunteer Awareness Week is an opportunity to thank the volunteers we already have for the excellent work they do says Acting National Advisor Volunteers Diane Hallot.
“This week is also a chance for us to encourage anyone thinking about volunteering to seriously consider what they could offer in a prison environment – it really isn’t as daunting as some may think.
“In all aspects of Corrections work we cannot succeed without community involvement and volunteering is a key part of that involvement.
“Many of our volunteers offer practical activities in prisons and are a key part of rehabilitative and reintegrative processes available to prisoners, which is a key tool in reducing re-offending.
“The existence of a diverse and energetic pool of volunteers brings a community perspective to our services and contributes towards helping offenders to positively return to the community,” says Ms Hallot.
“We have people going into prisons helping prisoners with their literacy, teaching arts and crafts, music, parenting skills or budgeting skills. There is such a wide variety of possible areas to volunteer in.
“The benefits of providing a varied array of constructive activities for prisoners cannot be overstated. These activities often motivate prisoners to change their lives and, for some, they offer the possibility of using newly-learned skills when they are released,” says Ms Hallot.
A ‘bring a friend’ morning tea is being held for volunteers in the Wellington region where current volunteers are encouraged to attend with a friend so they can appreciate the variety of activities a volunteer can provide as well as experiencing the prison environment.
Waikeria Prison is hosting an open day for prospective volunteers, while several new volunteers will be going through their induction process in the Auckland area. Every volunteer has an induction so that they are familiar with prison policy and procedure – the Department is committed to ensuring that the volunteering experience is a safe and rewarding one.
Corrections is always looking for new volunteers; if you know someone who may be able to help, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (04) 495 8428 for more information.
For further information contact the Communications Services Desk:
Phone: (04) 460 3365
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