Arts in Corrections media links
Prisoners' stories published
29 October 2018
Otago Corrections Facility prisoners recently spent six weeks flexing their creative muscles and writing short stories. The 33 entries in the Otago Daily Times’ New Chapters competition were posted online and the winners were announced in the newspaper. At a ceremony at the Otago Corrections Facility, the overall winner was presented with a selection of books and he thanked prison staff who had backed him during his years behind bars. ''Thank you ... for showing me how to learn again,'' he said. ''Your belief changed my life.'' Read more
Inmate numbers and prison costs are skyrocketing. In this article, Bruce Munro of the Otago Daily Times looks at the urgent need for prison reform and talks to ex-prisoner and now polytechnic lecturer Rue-Jade Morgan about growing up in a gang family, his efforts to help inmates and why going to prison was the best thing that could have happened to him. Read more
Arts in prisons a 'vital' social investment
"The arts can be a vital part in the new campaign to cut the growing prison population in New Zealand. International evidence shows that prisoners who take part in arts programmes are much less likely to end up back in prison. Drama, dance, creative writing and painting classes in prisons might seem at worst like another way of mollycoddling criminals or at best a 'nice to have' add-on. In fact, they can help slash recidivism rates," says Richard Benge, Executive Director of Arts Access Aotearoa, in this opinion piece published on Stuff.
Creative writing programme at Wellington prisons helping inmates find their voices
"Inside the grey walls of Arohata Upper Prison, a love of poetry and prose is forming among inmates, thanks to a well-established creative writing course run by a small group of Wellington volunteers. Since 2014, members of The Write Where You Are Trust have been working alongside prisoners to foster their creativity and provide a healthy outlet for them to process their experience inside ... " Read about Ruby MacAndrew's experience in Capital Day when she took part in an interactive creative writing workshop with prisoners, organised by the NZ Festival, Write Where You Are and Rimutaka and Arohata Prisons.
Impact of the arts in prisons
Neil Beales, Corrections Chief Custodial Officer and Jacqui Moyes, Arts in Corrections Adviser, Arts Access Aotearoa talk to Bryan Crump of RNZ’s Nights programme about the range of arts being used as a tool to support the rehabilitation process. The arts and creative expression can be a powerful tool in supporting the rehabilitation process of prisoners and their re-integration back into the community on release. Neil Beales, Corrections Chief Custodial Officer and Jacqui Moyes, Arts in Corrections Adviser from Arts Access Aotearoa are in the studio with Bryan to talk about what's involved.Listen to the interview
Knitting plastic bags
An Invercargill prisoner, who spent his childhood sleeping rough, is using supermarket plastic bags for homeless people around New Zealand. It takes one day and 260 bags to knit one mat, which is then distributed by the Salvation Army. The prisoner is also teaching others to knit the mats. “My job is to get myself right, and to get out there and make a difference.” Watch the TV One news