More than 50 per cent of crime was committed by people under the influence of drugs and two-thirds of prisoners had substance abuse problems, the Corrections Service national commissioner Jeremy Lightfoot said.
Because of that, addressing alcohol and other drug abuse among offenders significantly contributed towards the department’s goal to reduce reoffending by 25 per cent in the next three years, he said.
“We are now over half way to achieving this target and re-offending has fallen by over 12 per cent against the June 2011 benchmark.
As a result, there were 2319 fewer offenders and 9276 fewer victims of crime each year.
In 2009 nearly $2.7m was spent on drug treatment in New Zealand prisons.
By last year that had increased to $5.3m.
All prisons had recently introduced treatment programmes, he said.
“All prisoners are now screened for alcohol and drug problems when they enter prison which allows staff to make appropriate decisions on the amount of support required.
“This means that every prisoner now undergoes screening for addictions, health, mental health and education when they enter a corrections facility.”
Should have happened a long time ago.
In the 2013-14 financial year more than 3700 prisoners will have access to treatment for their addictions rising to 4700 next year.
That leapt from just 234 in 2007-08.
Labour talked the talk when it came to rehabilitation, but never walked the walk.