Corrections has acknowledged a Porirua organisation which helps offenders turn away from family violence.
Porirua’s Taeaomanino Trust has been recognised with a Community Partnership Award from Wellington District Community Corrections.
“The Community Partnership Award acknowledges the Trust’s work with Corrections and the offenders we manage,” says Wellington District Manager Sue Abraham.
“The Trust worked with us to develop a programme to address offenders’ family violence offending. The RED programme (Restore, Empower, Defend) encourages participants to reflect on their offending and the people it affects. It also gives them the tools to make positive changes in their lives.”
Throughout the six week programme the participants, who are all male, hear from a Police family violence team member, a representative from the “It’s Not Ok campaign”, a local minister who offers a cultural perspective, as well as Trust staff which includes counsellors and a health adviser.
“The way the programme is delivered is dynamic, culturally-appropriate and gets participants talking about it, long after they’ve finished a session,” says Ms Abraham.
“The feedback we receive, both formally and informally, is incredibly positive.”
James* an offender who attended the latest programme said he found it “eye-opening, interesting and helpful”. The main thing he took away from it was “no matter what has happened in your past – either your upbringing or your actions, you can choose your future – it’s up to you”.
Since it started a year ago, three programmes have been delivered for offenders managed by Community Corrections in Porirua and Wellington. At the completion of their programme, 10 offenders have self-referred to one-on-one counselling sessions with Taeaomanino counsellors.
“The Trust has been great to work with, not only with developing and delivering the RED programme, but also with the other projects we’re involved in together. We first partnered last year at a White Ribbon event at Waitangirua. So it’s fitting this award is being presented during White Ribbon month,” says Ms Abraham.
Theresa Nimarota, Chief Executive of Taeaomanino Trust, says “We’re grateful for the award and the recognition it brings. It affirms the innovative work we’ve been doing across the organisation including the RED programme.”
“The programme is constantly evolving to meet the needs of the participants. The award also recognises the collective efforts of the organisation in meeting the needs of the Porirua and Wellington communities.”
The Trust also provides alcohol and drug, and family violence counselling interventions to community-based offenders, which is separate to the RED programme.
Community partnership awards are a way for Corrections to acknowledge individuals or organisations with an outstanding commitment to providing meaningful, challenging projects that allow offenders to make up for their offending, learn new skills and behaviours, and provide role models to make a positive difference to others.
Corrections manages offenders to hold them to account to comply with their sentences and orders, reduce their likelihood of re-offending, minimise their risk to others, and help them become productive and contributing members of society.