Sobering day for prisoners
‘‘It's made me realise it's not worth the risk. Use your head. Get a sober driver or have a sleep.’’
Women in Arohata Prison’s drug treatment unit were among the first in the region to go through a new immersive alcohol impairment education programme.
The Alcohol Impairment Education Programme in June included viewing a wrecked car from a drink and drug driving fatality, chatting with staff from the police’s traffic alcohol group, attempting physical challenges while wearing visual impairment goggles, and hearing how post mortems are carried out.
A prisoner in her early 30s, who is serving a sentence for driving-related offending, said it helped her understand the consequences of drink-driving.
‘‘It’s made me realise it’s not worth the risk,’’ she said.
‘‘Use your head. Get a sober driver or have a sleep.’’
She was one of 20 women at the one-day education and development programme held in the prison in Tawa.
The programme was a collaboration between Corrections, police, Fire and Emergency New Zealand (formerly NZ Fire Service), road safety teams at Upper Hutt, Hutt City and Wellington councils, and Wellington SCL Mortuary.
‘‘It builds on what they’re learning in here around actions and consequences,’’ says Teresa Knowles, clinical manager for CareNZ, which delivers the alcohol and drug programme in the prison.
‘‘It’s about making good choices, connecting with how they feel, think and then act.’’
District road policing manager inspector Jan Craig said the programme helped break the cycle of recidivist drink-driving.
‘‘The programme gives participants the tools to reduce offending and assists with the decision making process to help prevent them driving impaired,’’ she said.
The programme was held for community-based offenders in the Wellington district last year, and was adapted from a similar programme in the Bay of Plenty.