New announcement. Learn more

Community rehabilitation

In its estimates, the Department of Corrections acknowledges that addressing trauma, and changing behaviour, has more than twice* the rate of success when undertaken in a community environment than within its prison-based programmes.

Community-based rehabilitation is particularly effective for young offenders aged under 20. This demographic is up to 88% more likely than any other to be resentenced to prison within five years, putting them at a crossroads between a life of engagement with our justice system, or a life of purpose, productivity, and wellbeing.*

The trade off:

Invest in community rehabilitation for 12 months at less than a third of the cost of incarceration, with a lifetime saving to society estimated to exceed $7.5 million.*


Incarcerate a young person for 12 months at a cost of more than $300,000*, with 77% re-sentenced within two years.

Invest in community rehabilitation

Community rehabilitation provides opportunities and benefits that incarceration cannot as individuals:

  • Maintain relationships with family and can break the cycle of intergenerational incarceration

  • Retain and improve employment opportunities

  • Gain immediate real-world feedback from the skills and knowledge they acquire

  • Avoid the stigma and debilitating ramifications of having been imprisoned 

  • Are able to showcase positive models of change to others

The economic benefits of prevention programmes go beyond reduced criminal-justice costs, and span:

  • Healthcare (reduced requirement)

  • Education (reduced need for costly remedial approaches and support staff)

  • Social services (reduced requirement)

  • Employment (increased tax revenue)

  • ACC (reduced claims)

  • Savings from reductions in the number of crime victims, police, judicial and custodial services*

Aspire to 'save' our rangatahi from incarceration and to simultaneously give them wings.

"We aspire to 'save' our rangatahi from incarceration and to simultaneously give them wings."

– Amelia Trotter, Programme Director

“…it’s normal here, people have family in the mob and in jail, it’s just ‘my dad’s in jail’.”