The Faith Based Unit (FBU) at Rimutaka Prison will close in November and Prison Fellowship NZ will celebrate its work at the prison with events over the weekend of November 24th and 25th.
Although the Prison Fellowship knows they have made a difference in the lives of many men, they have been unable to prove this satisfactorily to the Department of Corrections.
The Prison Fellowship continues to support the Department’s work to reduce recidivism, using the interest and skills of their mainly Christian communities.
They want to work across the entire prison system so more volunteers and churches get the opportunity to help transform lives
They are looking for a place in the correctional system that fits both Christian communities’ needs and the Department’s. At the moment that seems to be in the self-care units in 10 prisons.
They are exploring with Corrections ways of using the experience gained from the 9 years in the FBU to identify new opportunities.
They are keen to make the self-care units a “village” which prepares men and women well for their eventual release.
They will continue support for men and women in the community through the Community Throughcare schemes, including
- Target Communities,
- halfway houses,
- assisted accommodation, etc
so that they can remain crime free.
They have done this after a great deal of prayer and discussions.
They are working with the Prison Chaplaincy Service of Aotearoa to ensure that the spiritual needs of the men they have been caring in Unit 7 at Rimutaka continue to be met, and will be walking alongside those for whom they have already started making transition plans for as they leave prison.
Further information is available in a special issue of the Prison Fellowship Newsletter