Volunteers and NGOs in a Rehabilitative Prison System

By John Sinclair

Mt Eden Prison volunteer coordinator spoke at the Restorative Justice Conference in Wellington today (24 October) on what he learned when he visited European prisons on a Winston Churchill Fellowship. His report makes a strong case for Government to recognise the value of getting volunteers into prisons to teach prisoners the skills they need and to convey the important message that, regardless of what they have done, there are many in the community who want to help them learn from their mistakes and do whatever it takes to create a future without crime. John witnessed some inspiring examples of community organisations working closely with prison staff to create prisons truly focussed on helping prisoners make good, rather than just serve time. The benefits are huge, but prisons need a clear directive from Government to bring the community into the prisons wherever possible

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