New Corrections centre for Kawerau
16 December 2014
A NEW Department of Corrections centre in Kawerau will offer offenders an opportunity to complete programmes without having to travel to Whakatane.
Preparation for the new centre, beside the Kawerau Enterprise Agency on Onslow Street, began in December.
Bay of Plenty Corrections Department district manager Pauline Moran said two renovated buildings were expected to arrive in the middle of January from Spring Hill prison, near Te Kauwhata.
The site would open in May next year and support an average of 200 offenders from Kawerau and surrounding areas, she said.
Currently, if a person was ordered to complete a rehabilitative programme to deal with the causes of their offending, they needed to travel to Whakatane.
The new facility in Kawerau would provide more space and enable Corrections to provide these programmes in Kawerau.
Ms Moran said this was not possible in the previous two small office spaces and would remove the barrier of transport by locating the site near the town’s central business district.
Programmes included drug and alcohol support, psychiatrist meetings, and life skills training, along with education and qualifications to upskill offenders and help them into work.
The new site was made from two former state houses renovated at Spring Hill.
Ms Moran said she visited the prison last week and saw inmates learning new skills and trades as they altered the Kawerau buildings to fit their new purpose.
She said Kawerau staff were thrilled because they had been waiting for a new site for some time and finally the project was under way.
The programmes provided in Kawerau would grow beyond the classroom.
Plans included working with the town’s community gardens, which offered offenders a chance to grow their own vegetables then cook healthy meals with the produce.
Source: Whakatane Beacon