Profile: Prisoners Aid (PARS) - reducing reoffending through community support
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The Prisoners Aid and Rehabilitation Society of Canterbury Inc. (aka PARS or Prisoners Aid) - funded primarily by the Department of Corrections - provides reintegration support service to prisoners and their whanau in an effort to reduce recidivism and break the cycle of crime and incarceration in families. Since 2014, they have been also working to resettle and rehabilitate Kiwis in Christchurch whose visas have been revoked by the Australian Government under an amendment of the section 501 of their Migration Act, which provides for mandatory cancellation of visas for any foreign national sentenced to at least one year's jail, or those convicted of sex offences against children. "During this time, 83 Kiwis have been resettled by us in Christchurch. But this deportation must stop. I hope the New Zealand Government challenges the selection of whom the Australians are deporting. At our end, we want the landlords and Housing New Zealand to be more accommodating when we look for housing for these people. They are basically refugees," noted Murphy.
"I feel like PARS is standing at a bottom of a cliff and a deportee is getting thrown over. We catch him/her, but then another deportee is thrown over. We quickly pass on the deportee to someone else and we make the catch. This keeps on happening and before you know it, there are a whole bunch of agencies that are getting really good at passing on deportees just like we are getting good at catching them but no one ever asks who is throwing the deportees over the cliff in the first place. And what about all the children and grandchildren still standing at the top of cliff." - Helen Murphy