March 28, 2017
Licence help keep Maori out of jail
Penal reform group the Howard League sees driver training as a way to keep young Maori out of the prison system.
Chief executive Mike Williams says many young people first get into serious trouble with the justice system for driving without a licence, and end up in jail.
The Howard League piloted an unlicensed drivers’ programme in Hawke’s Bay, working with an experienced driving tutor.
It resulted in almost 200 licences being issued.
"A lot of those young people were headed to jail and we would like to see that programme of getting the offenders before going to jail for driving offences, spread throughout New Zealand. I think if you could get a lot of young Maori their driver licenses, you would see that prison population starting to shrink almost immediately," he says.
Mike Williams says as well as programmes in Hawke’s Bay and West Auckland, which still haven’t got long term funding, the Howard League wants to run an unlicensed driver programme in Whangarei.
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