New Zealand’s only faith-based prison unit is under threat of closure unless it meets a Corrections Department edict to make changes to its programme.

Prison Fellowship New Zealand, which runs the 60-bed Rimutaka Prison unit, has been told it has until May 31 to develop a plan for a rehabilitation component to the services that it already offers.

The faith-based unit has housed several hundred inmates since it was established in 2003. It aims to get inmates to turn their lives around through the Christian faith, providing prison activities, restorative justice courses, and post-release support.

A Corrections evaluation of the unit last year found it had had no impact on reducing reoffending.

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