Introduce specialised rehabilitation for incarcerated domestic violence offenders
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Our aim is to positively affect not only offenders, but entire communities in New Zealand, by reducing the rate of re-offending and breaking the cycle of violence prevalent in many New Zealand homes.
Domestic violence is an extreme problem in New Zealand. In 2014, police responded to a domestic violence call out on average every five and a half minutes. Domestic violence has incredibly negative effects on victims and their families – including young children who witness it. The physical and psychological consequences of domestic violence can last a lifetime – such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, low self-worth, physical scars, and complications.
The goal of our project is to lobby the Minister of Corrections to provide more holistic therapy programs for offenders of domestic violence related crimes. Although the Department of Corrections recognises the need to lower recidivism rates- they have a target of reducing re-offending by 25% by 2017- at present, specific domestic violence therapy programs are not offered in New Zealand prisons. The only programs available for domestic violence offences are those that are community based. Inmates do not have access to these community programs and are referred to general and broad violence therapy, which is also given to inmates of non-domestic violence offences. A lack of both specialised therapy and effective rehabilitation and support means that the recidivism rates for domestic violence in New Zealand are extremely high. These offenders need programs which address their individual situations, psyches and experiences in order to be effectively rehabilitated and to reduce the risk of recidivism. We are advocating for the adoption of specialised programs, as well as individual and/or group counselling.
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