Arts in Corrections media links
Positive change at Waikeria Prison
1 November 2019
Waikeria Prison is one of five North Island Corrections facilities operating a Māori Focus Unit called Te Ao Mārama. These units aim to bring about positive changes in offenders' thinking and behaviour through the practice of Māori values and disciplines, and specialist programmes. Read the Stuff article
Ballet transforming lives
1 November 2019
"Every week you can just see them become more confident. With confidence comes the drive to want to get better. They're very engaged and very present." Pagan Dorgan, senior dance educator for the Royal New Zealand Ballet, has been teaching ballet to prisoners in Wellington, Christchurch – and now Auckland. Read the Stuff article
Former prisoners carve out new future with art
8 July 2019
A series of workshops and an exhibition Whakapuakitanga: Expressions, facilitated by PARS Inc – People at Risk Solutions (PARS) in Auckland from 4 to 6 July, gave the exhibiting artists an outlet to express their feelings, connect with like-minded people and showcase their work to whānau, friends and the public.
How teaching art to women in prison changed their outlook
29 May 2019
UK art teacher Mim Skinner spent two years teaching art to prisoners. Now she’s written a book, Jailbirds: Lessons from a Women’s Prison, to change people’s view of incarcerated women – and how we can support them on the outside. The art classes gave them space to think about and articulate some truths and realities about their lives, often for the first time. Read more
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
4 August 2018
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
17 May 2018
"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.