What do we want to do?
We want to establish a residential violence-prevention programme at 14 Bristol Street, St Albans, Christchurch to help men learn new skills to stop them from using violence and engaging in other offending.
All residents will be on sentences of home detention and will be electronically monitored by GPS while residing at the property.
What will the programme look like?
Up to sixteen men will reside at the property as part of the programme. They will work with experienced psychologists, programme facilitators, other support staff, local Department of Corrections staff and each other to address the causes of their offending and build pathways to a crime-free life.
They will receive intensive wraparound rehabilitative and reintegrative support and will be supported by specialised reintegration staff and a probation officer to successfully return to the community in the reintegration phase of the programme.
The programme is based on a well-established programme called Tai Aroha, which has been operating in Hamilton for ten years.
Will residents be supervised?
All residents will be supervised by programme staff, monitored by CCTV cameras and electronically monitored by GPS while residing at the property.
There will be up to eight support and supervisory staff at the property during the day and two or three awake staff, monitoring the property overnight.
Will residents be permitted to leave the property?
Residents will spend most of their time on the property and will not be permitted to leave without prior approval.
However, they will be permitted to take some preapproved supervised outings such as going to the gym, shopping for weekly groceries or attending appointments with agencies or service providers.
As residents get closer to the final reintegration phase of the programme, they will be permitted to take some unsupervised outings. However, these will be preapproved outings to specific locations and the residents will continue to be electronically monitored by GPS while they are offsite.
How many residents will live at the property?
Up to sixteen residents will live at the property and all of them will participate in the programme while they are living there.
Up to ten will be working through the core phases of the programme and up to a further six will be receiving support as part of the reintegration phase, while continuing to reside onsite and preparing to return to living in the community.
How long will residents live at the property?
Most residents will stop living at the property after 14 to 16 weeks.
If they are not ready to leave the property after 16 weeks, we will allow for up to six residents to live onsite for a further six weeks, to a maximum total stay of 22 weeks. These residents will continue to participate in the programme and receive support to reintegrate into community life.
The programme will be a rolling programme. New residents will take part in programme activities alongside men who have already been living there.
What will typical daily life look like in the programme?
Residents will be actively involved in shared living responsibilities and domestic chores, such as cooking, shopping for groceries and cleaning.
The therapeutic principles of the programme will be integrated into all aspects of daily life. Participation in ordinary household activities, such as preparing a meal together or learning a waiata will provide residents with opportunities to practice new skills and non-violent responses in a range of real life situations.
While living at the property, residents will take part in therapeutic activities, including group sessions and individual therapy, and will learn alcohol and drug prevention and parenting skills.
Physical exercise and recreational activities will be encouraged and will contribute to the overall wellbeing of residents. They will be supported into self-directed leisure activities, such as learning to play a musical instrument or whakairo.
All programme activities will be designed to contribute to each resident’s specific rehabilitation and reintegration pathway.
Will residents be able to receive visitors?
Approved visitors will be able to visit on Saturdays between 1 and 5 pm. All visitors are pre-arranged and must comply with the house rules. They will be restricted to people who are actively supporting residents in the programme.
Is there a tikanga Māori aspect to the programme?
Tikanga Māori will be integrated throughout the programme to provide an inclusive and safe environment for residents. We are currently engaging with manawhenua to find out how they want to partner with us in the design of the programme.
Will men with any current or historical convictions of sex offences be eligible to reside at the property?
Will residents have untreated alcohol or drug addiction issues?
Men with high treatment needs relating to alcohol and drug use will first be referred for treatment to address their addiction issues prior to being considered for the programme. This will minimise the risks posed by men who are addicted and engage in drug seeking behaviour.
We will facilitate alcohol and drug therapy sessions in the programme as part of our wider therapeutic approach. Residents will not be permitted to drink alcohol and will be required to undertake drug testing while living at the property.
What will be the referral process for residents?
All formal referrals to the programme will be made by a probation officer in a pre-sentence report to the court. The court will decide if a person should be invited to participate in the programme, using the information in the pre-sentence report.
We will only select men who are ready for and capable of completing the programme. We will assess this using a psychological assessment interview with the potential resident, prior to them being referred.
Public safety is our top priority and we will not refer anyone to the programme if we consider that their risk to the community cannot be safely managed.
A court will not force someone to participate. Residents will have to opt in to the programme.
How will you support residents to reintegrate back into the community?
The purpose of the programme is for residents to return to the community with new skills to address their violence and support them to live a crime-free life.
The final phase of the programme will be a reintegration phase. This will mainly involve participants living in the community and being supported by our staff as they reintegrate into community life. However, some residents will begin this phase while continuing to live at the property. No resident will live at the property longer than 22 weeks.
A dedicated reintegration coordinator will work with participants to support them:
- Into suitable accommodation or to return to their existing homes
- To organise appointments with government agencies or healthcare providers
- Into further education or training
- Into employment.
After they have returned to the community, some participants will return for occasional programme seminars.
How will this benefit the community?
We want to be the best neighbours that we can be. We want to hear from you about how residents can benefit the community. Some examples of ways we can help are community work or tidying marae or church grounds.
The programme will help residents to become better fathers, partners, employees, and members of the community. It will support residents to develop skills to manage challenges in a non-violent way and to establish housing, social, employment and other support to assist in their transition to a crime-free life.
Will I be able to get involved in the programme?
We want to be the best neighbours that we can be and minimise any potential impact on the community. Positive relationships with the community are vital to the success of the programme and keeping our communities safe.
We will set up a community representative group that will meet regularly with programme staff to provide feedback or concerns.
We will hold public open days where neighbours are invited to the property to meet staff and see how the programme is delivered.
How many residents will take part in the programme each year?
Once the programme is fully established, we expect up to around thirty residents will graduate each year.