In Horowhenua, a family violence programme based on an initiative developed in Holland is getting great results.

The Horowhenua Priority Offender programme (HPOP) is a joint initiative between Community Corrections and Police, which targets offenders and their whanau who are at high-risk of family violence. The collaborative approach comes from a programme developed in Dordrecht, Holland and has been used around the world. 

The HPOP programme allows Police to liaise and share information with Corrections to manage an offender’s rehabilitation as they travel through the justice system.

Lisa Holgate, Lead Service Manager at Levin Community Corrections, says that the programme uses the collaborative approach between Police and Corrections as lead agencies and links in with other agencies as required. Regular contact with offenders and their whanau is scheduled and goals are developed and worked on with assistance from other agencies.

“This is an intensive programme; participants are contacted around four times a week (including home visits). We help them to develop goals that are then worked on with assistance from community agencies, depending on their needs. Regular hui are held to keep them on track” says Lisa.

For Corrections staff in Horowhenua, they’re seeing a significant change in their high-risk offenders; one high-risk parolee has completed their first ever community-based sentence without committing any offences, and has been successfully reunited with their partner and children.

The programme, which piloted in Otaki before rolling out in Horowhenua, has been running for two years and is a fantastic example of how Corrections and other agencies are working together to reduce re-offending.

Working together, from left: Leanne Walker-Berry, Senior Practitioner; Dan Ralph, Otaki Police; Lisa Holgate, Levin Service Manager; Matt Young, Levin Police; Barry Heal, Probation Officer; Phil Grimstone, Levin Police.