27 Sep 2011

Whanganui Prison new drug treatment unit to benefit Maori

8:00 pm on 27 September 2011

The Corrections Department says Maori inmates at Whanganui prison will benefit from a new drug treatment unit which opened there on Tuesday.

It's the first such drug treatment unit to be located in a Maori focus unit. Such units aim to reduce the risk of re-offending by helping inmates understand and value their Maori culture.

Corrections Rehabilitation and Reintegration Manager, Alison Thom, says it's an innovative move aimed at giving prisoners easy access to the right rehabilitation at the right time.

She says having a combined drug treatment and Maori focus unit will allow prisoners to address their addictions while strengthening their cultural identity.

Ms Thom says effective intervention will change the lives of inmates as well as their families and the communities they return to on release from prison.