Some prisoners eligible for earlier release under National

National corrections spokesperson Louise Upston says rehabilitation programmes worked, "so we want more prisoners to ...
MATT SHAND/STUFF

National corrections spokesperson Louise Upston says rehabilitation programmes worked, "so we want more prisoners to complete them".

Under National, some prisoners could be released 10 per cent earlier than under current conditions.

National has announced suitable "low-risk" prisoners will be eligible for earlier release if they successfully complete training and treatment plans and have a low risk of reoffending.

Corrections spokesperson Louise Upston said rehabilitation programmes worked, "so we want more prisoners to complete them".

National would invest a further $48 million in rehabilitation and reintegration programmes over the coming four years to ...
STACY SQUIRES/STUFF

National would invest a further $48 million in rehabilitation and reintegration programmes over the coming four years to deliver another 6000 places.

National would invest a further $48 million in rehabilitation and reintegration programmes over the coming four years to deliver another 6000 places.

Under the Positive Pathways programme, prisoners whose sentences were two years or less, and who successfully completed their training and treatment plan, would be eligible for release 10 per cent earlier than under current settings.

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Rehabilitation programmes helped prisoners prepare for life outside prison, gave them skills to get a job, and helped stop reoffending, Upston said.

National said since 2011, it had reduced the number of reoffenders by 26 per cent – that's 38,000 fewer victims of crime.

Prisoners serving more than two years would get an individualised training and treatment plan from Corrections and would receive early feedback from the Parole Board on the plan to better prepare them for when they became eligible for parole.

Successful completion of that programme would trigger an earlier parole hearing. However, early release was not guaranteed and minimum non-parole periods would remain unchanged.

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Upston said only prisoners with a low risk of reoffending would be eligible for an earlier release, and Judges would also have the discretion to exclude offenders at sentencing.

"We are not making sentences shorter. Instead prisoners can serve a greater portion of their sentence in the community, subject to appropriate monitoring.

"They will be subject to immediate recall to prison if they breach their conditions or reoffend."

Requirements for early release would be set by Corrections in training and treatment plans tailored to each individual prisoner.

Part of the investment in rehabilitation would also be targeted at more support for prisoners when they left jail, to help stop them from returning.

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 - Stuff

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