Drug Treatment Unit Graduates

(PR.co.nz) Eight prisoners have graduated from the Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) programme at Christchurch Men’s Prison, taking a big step towards turning their lives around.

They are the twenty-third group to graduate from the treatment programme since it first opened at the prison in 2006. The graduation was attended by staff from CareNZ, prison staff, as well as family members, and ended in a haka performed by fellow prisoners.

Prison Manager John Roper believes the DTU is a vital part of the prison’s rehabilitation efforts.

“The six month treatment programme is demanding. It requires real commitment from prisoners who are genuinely willing to address their addictions. They have had to successfully complete all the stages of the programme to the satisfaction of clinical staff, which requires commitment and motivation.

“The prisoners have been required to continually challenge themselves with regard to their attitudes, values and beliefs that led to their substance abuse,” Mr Roper says.

CareNZ Manager Fiona Cambridge says the staff see marked changes in the prisoners taking part in the DTU programme. “They may start the programme believing they won’t stop using, and by the end they have made a decision to never use again. Everything and everyone is on a continuum, and we work together to support and sustain the change process.”

“The DTU is a vital part of our prison’s rehabilitation efforts and I am pleased we are able to provide prisoners that have a history of substance abuse an intensive programme to help reduce their re-offending,” Mr Roper says.

Media Release 3 August 2010 from Department of Corrections.