Up to 90% of prison inmates have problems with substance abuse and addiction. But Corrections does not require the counsellors who provide rehabilitation programmes for them to have a graduate degree in the assessment and treatment of addictive disorders. In fact, they don't even need a degree - just a qualification.

In April last year, Radio New Zealand reported that the Corrections Department was paying for non-existent alcohol and drug counsellors.

New Zealand is widely perceived as a safe country and yet we don't seem to feel safe -- and 20,000 Kiwis spend time in prison each year

Compared with other Western democracies, New Zealand seems to be keen on sending its citizens to prison. Our prison population has been rising for the last 50 years and in October 2010, reached a total of 8,892 inmates. New Zealand now locks up 199 people per 100,000 of its population.

Rehabilitating prisoners requires more action than rhetoric, says the author of a new book on the justice system

In 2009, in an attempt to improve its woeful performance, former chief executive Barry Mathews announced that the Corrections Department’s rehabilitation and reintegration services would be combined into one team.As part of this new strategy, Corrections Minister Judith Collins recently announced the Department is to employ 227 case managers --