Corrections will continue to look for new ways to rehabilitate offenders

We pride ourselves on researching the best interventions from around the world, to ensure that we can be world leading in reducing re-offending.

Short programmes targeting violent offenders

A new brief skills programme at Waikeria Prison aims to help violent offenders to ‘climb into the light’.

Ka Upane5 targets high-risk, short-serving prisoners who might otherwise miss out on treatment interventions due to the lengths of their sentences.

The group is led by a psychologist and runs for eight weeks, giving participants the opportunity to engage in a meaningful and empirically supported intervention. In 2015/16, the programme was delivered to 12 offenders.

New parenting skills programme in prisons

Our new prison-based parenting skills programme is not only for parents. Broader eligibility criteria are designed to make the programme available to more prisoners, and so benefit more families.

This short programme aims to teach basic parenting skills to prisoners, so that they can play a greater, more positive and supporting role in the lives of children. This year, 470 offenders have taken part in the programme.

A feature of the new programme is community support after release. Participants who complete the programme will have the option of community support, which can range from one or two home visits to phone calls in the first three months after release.

Family violence

Family violence is a serious problem in society, and finding effective ways to address it is an inescapable part of Corrections’ work to improve public safety and reduce re-offending.

The Family Violence and Sexual Violence Ministerial work programme

The Family Violence and Sexual Violence Ministerial work programme includes 11 work streams focused on improving the outcomes and response to family violence and sexual violence. The work programme is driven by a number of objectives, namely:

  • less family violence and sexual violence in New Zealand
  • harm to victims is minimised
  • more perpetrators end or reduce their use of violence and sexual violence and are held accountable for their behaviour
  • more men, women and children have respectful and non-violent relationships.

The Department has been nominated as the lead agency for the Perpetrator Interventions Work Stream. The purpose of this work stream is to identify a range of interventions that will target individuals’ risk factors for family violence and sexual violence perpetration (and address any barriers to treatment).

This work includes developing all follow-up responses; including immediate, medium-term and long-term interventions, for any person who uses family violenceor sexual violence within a family context. The risk, need and responsivity (RNR) principles will guide the optimum service mix by determining the level of intensity/dosage of treatment required (risk), the specific offending needs which should be addressed (need), and the way an intervention should be delivered (responsivity), which are most likely to minimise future harm and increase community safety.

To support Corrections to carry out its role as lead for the Perpetrator Interventions Work Stream, a cross-agency governance group and oversight group has been established. These groups consist of representatives from each participating agency, who can assist with strategic oversight, information sharing, expertise and design. Key sector stakeholders including iwi, Pasifika, NGO providers and networks as well as service users, will also be engaged to provide input into this programme of work.

This work is intended to create transformational change for the sector. As such, it requires a coordinated and dedicated approach across all of the key agencies involved.

Integrated Safety Response pilot

The Integrated Safety Response pilot is bringing together a team of Corrections, NZ Police, Child, Youth and Family, Health, specialist family violence NGOs and Mäori service providers to support victims of family violence.

The 12 month pilot is part of the comprehensive crossagency work programme overseen by the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. The pilot will test an early multi-agency triage approach, to collaboratively assess and support families experiencing family violence. This will better support victims, safely manage perpetrators and smooth the path to support services.

The model is based on international best practice, and is being tailored to New Zealand’s unique circumstances.

It is expected that the pilot will cost less than $1 million for the first year, which will include set up and evaluation. The pilot will largely be met from within agency baselines, with additional support from the Justice Sector Fund.

5 Ka Upane means to climb from a place of darkness into a place of light (knowing and using skills to live a pro social life).

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