November 01, 2017
Te reo lessons could ease prison tension
A new guide for learning te reo Maori may have a role in easing tensions in prisons.
The Howard League for Penal Reform has picked up Scotty and Stacey Morrison’s Maori Made Easy as part of its literacy drive.
Mr Morrison says league head Mike Williams saw its potential for giving inmates some focus.
He says a trial at Wiri Prison met with an enthusiastic response, and the league has ordered 300 copies to distribute to other prisons.
"All the prisoners want to learn it and all the guards are getting involved as well because they can learn together and start to build a bit more congeniality and strengthen the relationship between prisoners and prison guards, so it is having that effect, that prisoners and guards are learning together," Mr Morrison says.
Learning the language can help build the prisoners’ mana and self esteem and make them more valuable to their whanau and hapu when they get out of jail.
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