Our Approach to Rehabilitation brochure

Corrections’ greatest challenge is to break the cycle of re-offending so that our communities are safer. Our Approach to Rehabilitation tells you about our pathway to change. Printed copies are available at our probation sites and prison visits centres.

Download the Our Approach to Rehabilitation (PDF 965.8MB)

nullOur aim is to ensure every offender who has an identified need – great or small – receives an appropriate intervention, whether they are in the community or in prison.

Our rehabilitation interventions offer a pathway to change for offenders so they leave our care better able to lead crime-free lives. How successful they are depends on their willingness to change, and the support they get in the community.

We’re careful to target our efforts where they can have the most positive impact. Research shows that intervention that isn’t suited to the offender’s needs can make them more likely to re-offend or to commit more serious crime.

How we know what works

The right intervention, delivered well, can reduce the likelihood of someone re-offending. Our programmes focus on understanding how likely someone is to re-offend, what causes
their offending behaviour, and how best to help them to change.

We do our own research and we contribute to international studies to ensure we know what’s working.

The pathway to change

Each year more than 6,000 people successfully complete their intervention. They gain insight, new skills to avoid risky situations and thinking, and new ways to solve problems and interact with others.

Not everyone who has offended is ready to change. We work to motivate individuals with specific programmes and through everyday interactions with our frontline staff.

Some people need help to quit alcohol or other drugs before they are ready and able to take the next step.

Starting a rehabilitation programme is a huge commitment.

Ongoing support

People who successfully complete a rehabilitation programme can benefit from ongoing support. Maintenance programmes give participants a chance to check in with their providers, practise their new skills and attitudes, and encourage each other on the journey.

About our programmes

We offer a range of rehabilitation programmes. They vary in length from a few days to several months. Some involve working one on one with a psychologist; others are delivered to mall groups by specialist facilitators.

Some prisons have special treatment units with programmes to address particular types of offending including child sex offending, alcohol and other drug treatment, violence, and sex offending.

We have programmes tailored for offenders aged under 20, programmes for women offenders, and others with a cultural focus that cater to Pacific peoples and Mâori.

Rehabilitation and Maori

Mâori make up just under half of the offender population.

We know that interventions that work well for Maori are effective for other offenders too. Our tikanga Maori programmes are group-based and delivered by Maori providers who use Mâori philosophy, values, knowledge and practices to foster the regeneration of Maori identity and bring about positive change.

Our national programme offers a separate kaupapa Maori environment for participants in prison and uses Maori culture and values to support participants on their journey of change.

Quick facts

  • 63% of people who start a rehabilitation intervention in prison complete it.
  • The most common intervention we deliver is alcohol and other drug treatment.
  • Corrections employs around 160 psychologists and 220 programme facilitators to deliver interventions.