Our services aim to assist offenders and their whanau to address the following re-integrative needs:
- Finding and maintaining suitable accommodation
- Finding and maintaining employment and/or training options
- Managing finances
- Developing positive whanau relationships
- Developing pro-social community support
- Preventing victim-related issues
- Accessing post-release health care services
- Reducing the risk of re-offending
Our paid staff and volunteers work one-to-one in prisons and the community to carry out these services.
Maintaining positive connections with whanau is important for the client and their loved ones, and having these connections on release contributes positively to successful reintegration.
Reintegration refers to services that support people to leave prison to live a crime-free life in the community. These services may start in prison and continue to be delivered after release in the community.
Prisoners Aid and other service providers support people to make positive choices. This involves personal one-to-one support that enables people to become settled in their community.
For most clients this involves having suitable safe accommodation, something to do such as training or employment, and having access to other community services such as health professionals, social services and Government agencies.
The services provided by paid staff from Prisoners Aid are enhanced by a network of trained volunteers across New Zealand who add a valuable connection between the prison and the community.
Clients appreciate that volunteers are showing interest in them despite doing this for no pay and for many it is the first time they’ve received support and caring from someone in this way.
Volunteers are crucial to Prisoners Aid meeting locally identified needs in the delivery of services to offenders and their whanau. Crucially, by operating beyond the resource restrictions paid staff often work within, a skilled volunteer is able to establish relationships that can develop to meet the specific needs of clients.
Research shows that the unique character of the volunteer-client relationship has the additional benefit for offenders and their families of promoting pro-social behaviour within the context of actual community connection and away from institutionalised support.