Radio New Zealand has recently discovered that a screening tool has found that most prisoners needed help with numeracy and literacy, and problems are worse than previously thought.
At least worse than RNZ previously thought, anyway.What RNZ didn’t appear to know was that it was the Howard League for Penal Reform who actually asked for this information and had it way back in September and reported on this in October.
A new screening tool developed by the Ministry of Education was trialled on 197 new prisoners. This found that approximately 60% of prisoners do not possess the basic literacy skills to engage in society and 90% were not considered functionally literate.
Additionally, approximately 35% of prisoners do not possess the numeracy skills to engage in society, and 80% are not considered functionally numerate.
If one applied these results to the general prison population, some 3600 prisoners per year have a high literacy need, while 2100 have a high numeracy need. Guess where they will go when they get out of prison.