Stories

Deportees: Taken from the brink

Posted Tue 26 April 2016

Reintegrating back into life after an extended period of time in prison is always rife with complications, regardless of the circumstances around release. For people originally from New Zealand who end up in the Australian prison system, deportation adds a whole other level of upheaval to this process. Many of these people have been living in Australia for most of their lives – all of their adulthood and much of their childhood, too.

Deportees: Making the best of things and then some

Posted Tue 26 April 2016

Coming out of prison is a huge change even when you’re going back to family or friends. Having served their time, released prisoners have to adjust to all the ways in which the world has changed and face challenges from difficulties finding employment or accommodation through to dealing with the stigma of being a released prisoner. Imagine then, being released from prison and having to deal with not only those challenges, but also being deported back into a country without the support of friends and family. . This is the situation many deportees are facing.

Pasifika programme helps ex-prisoners reconnect

Posted Thu 26 March 2015

For many people who have been in prison, inadequate support networks make successfully re-entering society extremely difficult. Old habits, stigmatisation and a lack of positive, supportive social connections mean many ex-prisoners reoffend. Luckily, PARS (People At Risk Solutions, formerly known as the Prisoner Aid and Rehabilitation Society) supports prisoners before and after release, helping them to become contributing members of their communities, and avoid reoffending.

Whanau Transport service encourages supportive family environment for prisoners

Posted Wed 17 December 2014

When people have been incarcerated, especially for a long time, maintaining family relationships can be challenging. Aside from the obvious physical separation from family members, difficulties with scheduling and transport arrangements often mean that prisoners and their families don’t see each other often.

Supported accommodation supports ex-prisoners onto a positive path

Posted Mon 17 November 2014

For people who have been in prison for some time, the prospect of release is often met with mixed feelings. There’s the welcome feeling of being able to be back in control of your own destiny, but with that, comes a pervasive sense of uncertainty. “I wanted to be my own boss and not be in limbo anymore, but finding places that I could stay when I got out was a challenge,” explains Dave, who had been in prison for a little over seven years before rejoining the community with the help of PARS - People At Risk Solutions.

The life of a PARS field officer

Posted Mon 13 October 2014

You might know what PARS do for ex-prisoners, but do you really know what that means for the staff who day in, day out do their best to support prisoners as they re-enter society? We wanted to give you some insights into what supporting prisoners actually means, so who better to explain that than one of the incredible PARS field workers, Aaron?

Lifetime gang member changes his stripes

Posted Fri 02 May 2014

For many, being part of a gang is a lifetime commitment, often committing equally to a life of crime and violence. Many gang members spend years of their lives in and out of prison and find it very difficult to break the cycle. Rawiri* is one great exception to that rule.

Ambitious ex-prisoner hopes people will give him a chance (and a job) to reach his goals

Posted Wed 26 March 2014

Writing books about family history and heritage buildings in Auckland isn’t what you would usually expect from an ex-prisoner, yet since Trevor* left prison in 2012, he has been busy flexing his writing muscles, with support and encouragement from PARS Inc. (formerly known as Prisoner Aid and Rehabilitation Society of Auckland District Inc.).

Helping with smooth transitions for prisoners and families

Posted Fri 28 February 2014

For many people leaving prison, the excitement of getting out is tempered with a fear of being unable to move on with their lives. Many are stigmatised by society or don’t have the support systems in place to help them move past the mistakes they made when they were young. For Hamilton resident Hine*, help from PARS Inc was the key to enabling her to build a new life post-prison.

Mentoring helps ex-prisoner re-enter society and make the most of life

Posted Thu 19 December 2013

Few people consider the challenges that people face when they emerge from prison. Luckily PARS Inc (based in Mt Eden, Auckland) and some fantastic mentors are on hand to help prisoners adjust to life in the real world.