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Crossing the digital divide

Every year it seems there’s new technological gadgets and gizmos. And, while they are generally designed to make life easier and more efficient than ever before, for the guys that have come through our reintegration programme after lengthy prison sentences, it can be mind bending.

From a lack of confidence jumping on an escalator in a crowded mall after 20 years inside the wire, to the excitement of being able to video call with whānau they haven’t seen in many years, Pathway Support Services Coordinator Renee Jones says the reintegration team see both sides of the spectrum when it comes to Tū Ora experiencing this whole new world.

“Technology keeps people connected to the family that we’re asking them to go back to and can be a really healthy outlet. But after many years of being out of touch with tech, it can sometimes be a really anxious and disempowering experience.”

A speakerphone in a vehicle, self-scanners and self-checkouts at the supermarket, phone banking, touch screens, electronic seats in cars, Paywave and online banking, the pitfalls of social media, even applying for jobs and tenancies are often online processes today.

These are all challenges our amazing reintegration team work through with our Tū Ora so they know they’re not in this alone.

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