Fewer prisoners returning positive drug tests

Published: Fri 9 Oct 2015 03:16 PM
Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga
Minister of Corrections
9 October 2015
Fewer prisoners returning positive drug tests
Fewer prisoners are testing positive for drugs and more of them are taking part in drug and alcohol treatment programmes, says Corrections Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga.
During the 2014/15 year there were about 4500 general random drug tests on prisoners. The rate of positive results was 3.7 per cent. In comparison, the rate of positive results in 2008/09 was 11 per cent.
“Reducing the demand for and availability of drugs in prisons creates a safer environment for staff and better rehabilitation outcomes for prisoners,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.
More than 4500 prisoners accessed alcohol and drug treatment in 2014/15, including brief, intermediate and intensive programmes of between one and eight weeks.
“Almost 1000 prisoners attended three- or six-month residential drug treatment unit programmes delivered by contracted providers Care NZ and Odyssey House in 11 specialist units at prisons across the country,” says Mr Lotu-Iiga.
In addition, almost 5000 prisoners received brief alcohol and drug interventions delivered by health staff.
By comparison, in 2008/09, about 500 prisoners began a treatment programme.
Last month Mr Lotu-Iiga announced Corrections would spend $8.63 million over three years to develop and deliver a post-release programme to help offenders break their addictions and reduce reoffending.
“Drug and alcohol abuse is a major driver of crime. Two-thirds of prisoners have substance abuse problems and more than half of crimes are committed by people under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Often this is a major factor in their reoffending,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.
“Our government is committed to reducing reoffending by 25 per cent by 2017. Breaking the link between substance abuse and offending is crucial if we want to reduce the number of people in prison.”

Next in New Zealand politics

Speech From The Throne
By: New Zealand Government
Law Commission Recommends New DNA Laws For Criminal Investigations
By: Law Commission
New Zealand Government To Declare A Climate Emergency
By: New Zealand Government
Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management
By: New Zealand Government
Green Party Announce Portfolio Reshuffle With Talented And Energised Caucus Team
By: Green Party
NZ Govt Considers Making House Prices Part Of RBNZ Mandate
By: XE Money Transfer
Green Party Respond To Government Review Of Housing Settings
By: Green Party
Rewriting The Rulebook On DNA In Criminal Investigations – Expert Reaction
By: Science Media Centre
Government To Consider Recommendations On DNA Use In Criminal Investigations
By: New Zealand Government
Climate Change An Economic Issue; Critical For The Planet’s Future
By: Make Lemonade
Climate Emergency Declaration A Win But Needs Action
By: Greenpeace New Zealand
Declaration Of ‘Symbolic’ Climate Emergency
By: Extinction Rebellion
Minimum Wage Hike Isn’t What The Economy Needs
By: New Zealand National Party
Why Not $50 An Hour?
By: ACT New Zealand
Greens Commit To Ensuring Strong Oceans Protection This Term
By: Green Party
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media