Challenges Facing a Māori Prison Education Leader

Te Pere, M
Stewart, G
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Journal Article
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Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia

Māori are severely over-represented in the prison population of Aotearoa New Zealand, making up over half of all prisoners, despite being only about 15% of the national population. These Māori statistics are well-known, and support racist perceptions of Māori in general. There is substantial literature on Māori imprisonment in Criminology and related fields, but it mostly focuses on ‘fixing’ the prisoner. Prison education is a neglected topic in extant educational research. Little research exists on the experiences of those who work in prisons, and little or none about the experiences of Māori prison educators. Prison education focuses on changing behaviours that lead to offending and helping prisoners to gain work and life skills. But security concerns and managing the prison population take precedence and restrict the availability and priority given to education. The recent Hōkai Rangi strategy has generated enthusiasm, but has yet to translate into positive results.

Agnotology; Cultural programmes in prisons; Hōkai Rangi policy; Kaupapa Māori; Prison education
Access: Contemporary Issues in Education, 2021, Vol. 41, No. 2, 33-43
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