October 04, 2023
Grace Foundaton gives first chance out of prison
The co-founder of what is called the biggest bail house in Aotearoa says getting out of prison is often the first chance many Māori and Pasifika have to get some control over their lives.
The Grace Foundation has more than 500 released prisoners in homes and apartments across Tāmaki Makaurau, about 200 tāne and the rest women or women and their children.
Dave Letele senior says it operated without government funding or contracts for almost two decades because it wanted to set its own agenda.
He says there is no one at the gate for many inmates, and connections need to be made back to whānau and community.
“We do run them through certain programmes to help them along the way. Many of them come with a lot of baggage and trauma and stuff that has taken place historically. We don’t have a timeframe. for some people it takes some time for the healing process because there is so much to take on board and unpack,” he says.
Mr Letele says Grace Foundation is one of the few places that deals with people who have served long terms.