Our Approach to Reintegration brochure

One of the keys to reducing re-offending is helping people live crime free after they have served their sentence or order. Find out about Our Approach to Reintegration.  Printed copies are available from our probation sites and prison visits centres.

Download the Our Approach to Reintegration PDF, 1.0 MB

Around 15,000 people are released from our prisons each year and thousands more complete community sentences.

Research shows that people are less likely to re-offend if they have the right support around them – and that helps to keep everyone safer. The key areas are employment, accommodation, education & training, skills for life, oranga, and whānau/community relationships. Support can come from many people including whānau (family), community groups, counsellors, employers, and Corrections staff.

Reintegration is not just for people leaving prison. People who have served sentences and orders in the community also need help to make a fresh start and play a positive role in their communities and families.

Our reintegration efforts go hand-in-hand with rehabilitation; every interaction is an opportunity to encourage a crime-free future.

Reintegration and employment

Each year, around 250 people in our care on our Release to Work programme travel outside the prison each day to a regular job.
Research shows that having sustainable work can reduce the risk of re-offending. We aim to get people ‘work ready’ with the right skills and attitudes so they can find work and provide for themselves and their families. We put them in touch with industry trainers and employers who are willing to look beyond a person’s offending past and give them a chance.

Reintegration and public safety

Few people stay in prison forever.

Even people who have caused serious harm to others may complete their sentences and be released. When a person is released on parole or on conditions, Corrections is responsible for managing the risk they might pose. We work with other government agencies to share relevant information and take action to keep the community safe. A probation officer will continue to work with an individual to make sure they comply with the conditions of their release. If things go wrong, the probation officer will take action to hold the offender to account.

Reintegration and whānau

Where appropriate we engage whānau in our reintegration efforts.

Whānau often have the most to gain from successful reintegration, and can have the greatest influence over the person's future behaviour. We take care to support the wider whānau in their efforts so that everyone remains safe.

Targeted Support

We aim to provide the right level of reintegration support to each individual so that those with the greatest need get the most help.

Younger people (up to 24 years) warrant our special effort. The earlier we can get them on a pathway out of offending, the greater our success in reducing re-offending. Some people serving long sentences may be eligible to move into special reintegration units where they have increased responsibility and some independence before they are released. With support from skilled community providers, these prisoners learn how to care for themselves and practise the skills they have learned in prison to change their behaviour. We also support people who have spent a short time in custody to ease their return to the community. Community providers work with individuals to help arrange the support they need before and immediately after they leave prison.

Planning to stay crime-free

Helping to plan for their own reintegration gives people confidence and self-reliance.

Successful reintegration requires careful planning. Some people in our care need more support than others, and many will be subject to conditions designed to keep them and the community safe.

Corrections staff work together to help offenders plan for their reintegration. They look at:

  • key relationships
  • accommodation
  • finances
  • work or training options
  • health needs
  • victim issues
  • managing risk.

Working together

It’s all about teamwork: The more positive relationships people in our care have in their lives, the better their chances of settling back into their community.

Our reintegration partners range from dedicated volunteers to contracted service providers. Some provide practical support like clothing and advocacy, while others offer ongoing motivation and moral support. We also work with:

  • Whānau
  • community groups and community agencies
  • churches and prison chaplains, faith-based groups
  • Quitline and drug and alcohol treatment providers
  • district health boards and primary health organisations
  • iwi/mārae based groups and organisations
  • sports groups
  • counselling and mental health providers.