Dear Mr Power,
I am writing to ask you to reconsider your decision to close Te Hurihanga.
I understand that it has taken a long time to set up Te Hurihanga, to gain the support and involvement of its community, and that it is a world-class, evidence-based intervention.
The ostensible grounds for your decision – the circa six-hundred-thousand dollars per graduate – do not seem justified when one considers that these costs include the set up of the programme and provision of the intervention for a number of other young offenders who have not yet graduated. In fact the use of this figure seems downright misleading.
Moreover, although it appears expensive at this point, these costs surely pale in comparison not only to the cost of these young people’s likely future traverse of the justice system and imprisonment should they not take part in this programme, but in particular to the immense personal and financial toll their potential future crimes will take on their victims in the future. These are, after all, highly recidivist young people.
I realise that the Government says that they will be asking for tenders for a replacement, ‘more cost-effective’ programme. I don’t think it will be that simple considering Te Hurihanga took ten years to get off the ground.
Please reconsider your decision: it is expensive to properly treat young offenders; it’s more expensive not to.