August 20, 2018
Support critical on road from prison
Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis hopes this week's Criminal Justice Summit will bring fresh ideas on how to keep young Māori from doing things that lead to prison.
The summit will be opened at Parliament tonight by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and then switches to Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua for two days of talk from people with first hand knowledge of all sides of the justice system.
Mr Davis says with more than half the prison muster being Maori, and more than half of those coming from his own iwi Ngāpuhi, he takes it personally.
He says the rise in the prison population wasn't inevitable.
"We can change it but we've got to look at how we can keep people out of prison in the first place, how we stop them breaking the law in the first place, how we support them and the Government's whole kaupapa has been about how we can support people in the early years of their lives in the hope they don't actually fall into the justice system but if they do, how do we support them so they never ever return" he says.
Mr Davis says if Māori are 51 percent of the problem, they also have to be at least 51 percent of the solution.
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