Many prisoners have been in the news for the wrong reasons but they are now being kept in the know by a scheme to increase literacy in jail.

The Sir Peter Williams QC Penal Reform League has announced Springhill, Waikeria, and Tongariro prisons will soon be recipients of daily newspapers.

This is in addition to Ngawha Correctional Facility in Northland, which received its first newspapers in June this year from the Sir Peter Williams QC Penal Reform League in conjunction with private sponsors Eagles Nest, Russell.

Lady Heeni and Arthur Fairley - both barristers, who lead the Auckland and Northland Sir Peter's Leagues - are convinced turning pages can turn lives around.

Advertisement

"In assisting prisoners this way, it will add to a prisoner's educational, employment and general reading skills repetoire, preparing prisoners for their release.

"There is nothing like the written word and the feel of the newspaper which all adds to a newspaper reading experience," Lady Heeni said.

"This is so successful already, I have correspondence from prisoners asking their prison be put on our list for sponsorship."

Lady Heeni Phillips-Williams with Sir Peter Williams and former Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae.
Lady Heeni Phillips-Williams with Sir Peter Williams and former Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae.

Richlister Peter Kraus of Eagles Nest said he was delighted to be continuing with the educational initiative.

"The aim is to have all 16 prisons receiving newspapers and we are working towards that."

Corrections Minister Louise Upston said she applauded the Peter Williams QC Penal Reform League and sponsor Eagles Nest for pushing for the education resource in prisons.

"I have said before that changing the lives of offenders needs input from the community as well as the Government.

"We may take our newspapers for granted but for prisoners, the contact with the outside world, as well as a new source of reading material is something precious."

Advertisement