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Arts in Corrections media links

Spotlight on Māori incarceration

24 August 2020
In 1989, Kim Workman was the first Māori appointed operational head of New Zealand prisons.Today, the prison reformist believes the institutions should be abolished. Frank Film’s latest two episodes in its Changing South series put the spotlight on the growth of Māori incarceration since European settlement and include an extended interview with Kim Workman to better understand how and why it happened. It also looks at Te Ara Poutama Department of Corrections’ new strategy, Hōkai Rangi, implemented with a desire to turn the tide on growing Māori rates of imprisonment. Read more and view the video

Volunteering at Springhill Corrections Facility

1 July 2020
Grant Sharman, a 58-year-old tetraplegic mouth painter, volunteers at Spring Hill Corrections facility every Wednesday. He says he gets more out of the art classes than the inmates. “Their reaction is phenomenal, they're extremely polite. There are some real characters because you are dealing with guys who have varying degrees of mental health issues. I just see them as other people. I don't see them as inmates. We have a lot of fun.” Read the Stuff story

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.

Watch the Maori TV interview

Watch the Newshub interview

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

Unlocking potential

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

March 2018
"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. 






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