Most released prisoners underestimate how difficult the transition from prison to the community will be. They are not prepared for paying bills, for relationships or employment and this sees many of them turn back to old habits to cope. We believe this is why so many re-offend and return to prison.
In addition to our existing services, we have now introduced New Zealand’s first community-run reintegration unit in October 2018. Developed and implemented by Pathway Trust, the Navigate Initiative is New Zealand’s first equal partnership between the community and the Department of Corrections to operate an intensive pre-release reintegration unit inside of Christchurch Men's prison.
The purpose of this pilot programme is to intervene early and provide holistic reintegration support to prisoners that will improve their health and wellbeing, increase their connections with the community outside, provide them with skills and resources to enable them to seek meaningful employment, and ultimately reduce the likelihood of re-offending after their release.
The unit is able to cater for up to 20 participants at one time and has supported over 38 men on their reintegration journey in its first year of operation. The Tu Ora (men in the unit) spend six to twelve months prior to their release in the unit, where they are intensively equipped for life outside the wire. In these months, the men will develop new skills and have access to services that will support them in their transition, including relational education, employment preparation, literacy and numeracy education, and practical trade-based skills development. Within the programme, all of the participants have been receiving physical, emotional, cultural, and social support as well as practical assistance.
These services are being provided in collaboration with other community organisations and volunteering individuals, who kindly offered their services to support this initiative.
“Ultimately the Navigate Initiative is about developing the foundations for a more positive return to the community", says Pathway Reintegration Manager, Carey Ewing. “By participating in the programme, our clients are better equipped on their release to seek employment opportunities, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and build positive relationships.”
Although the impact of an initiative of this scale will take some time to realise, Pathway are already seeing the value through those we are journeying with. Participants have affirmed that as a result of what they have learnt and gained through the Navigate Initiative, they stand better prepared to handle the practical hurdles of rebuilding their lives in the community.
Independent research and validation of the programme is being undertaken by Dr Jarrod Gilbert, and a preliminary report is expected to be released in December 2019.
How can you help?
There are two important ways that you can support the Navigate Initiative. One is by volunteering your time through our Community Skills Bank, the other is by investing financially:
» Help by: Investing Financially
The annual projected cost of the initiative is $340,000. - We need your help to reach this target.
We are seeking investments from businesses, organisations, churches and individuals to help us, help others. Purchasing "Supporter Shares**" in the Navigate Initiative will see you be a part of reducing crime and helping our community.
Supporter shares are sold in multiples of $1,000 with a five year commitment. Purchasing one share involves donating $1,000 per year for five years, at a total cost of $5,000.
Why invest in the Navigate Initiative?
* Join a ground-breaking project that will produce huge benefits for our community - when people leaving prison succeed it is good for everyone.
* Own your own part of measurable social change through improvements in post release outcomes and a reduction in re-offending. Supporter Shareholders will receive regular updates about how their investment is making a difference and an independent research company will be commissioned to report annually on the project outcomes.
* Pathway’s business arm Alloyfold has already invested the first $50,000 per year by committing to buying 50 shares - we believe in this project!
However, there are other options to get involved, should you prefer another form of donation. Click here to find out more.
» Help by: Joining the Community Skills Bank
We need people to share their skills with men living inside the Navigate Initiative unit. This means teaching the participating men valuable life skills in workshops, ongoing lessons or one-off training sessions. From the practical and mechanical to the musical and academic, your skills can help prepare people for life outside the wire!
We value your time. That's why it is completely up to you to choose how much time you want to give. You will also receive an induction and ongoing volunteer support. Click here to find out more.
This is your chance of participating in a very rewarding project that will help make our community a better place.
We believe that people can make positive changes in their lives when given the tools to do so.
Contact Carey Ewing to register your interest in this exciting new project:
• Phone: (03) 982 4853 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org •
Our Corporate Partners:
Through the Corporate Shareholder scheme, the businesses we partner with enable this work to continue. Their support not only ensures that those released into the community have a better chance at a fresh start, but that the community we all live and operate in, has the ability to be safe and flourish.
Gold Tier Corporate Shareholders:
Our grateful thanks to Hugo foundation for their kind support.
*Than had been expected by the Department of Corrections at time of release. Download the full report at www.pathway.org.nz
**Supporter shares are a donation and will not result in a financial return or legal ownership of a property or service. Supporter shares are not tradeable or sellable.