7 Nov 2013

Plan for ex-prisoner reintegration service dropped

2:26 pm on 7 November 2013

A Maori health organisation is criticising a Department of Corrections decision to scrap a planned service for newly-released prisoners in Taranaki.

Following the closure of the New Plymouth prison this year, the department promised a reintegration centre providing education, employment support, and alcohol and drug treatment for released prisoners returning to the region.

But the department says that is now not going ahead and instead it will be rolling out a national programme in the region called Out of Gate.

The health board representing Taranaki's eight iwi, Te Whare Punanga Korero, says that's extremely disappointing.

Chairperson Darryn Ratana says Corrections has taken a short-term view in going for a one size fits all model, rather than working with the community to find a solution.

"The Corrections Department had an opportunity to break the cycle to address what are in some instances intergenerational issues and for the sake of dollars they have chosen not to do that," he said.