Nga Tūmanakotanga – Turning the Tide on Prison Violence
Given the impact of the spread of Omicron in Aotearoa, the safety measures that Ara Poutama have put in place to protect mauhere (prisoners), prison staff and visitors from the virus has also meant that prisons are not accessible for research purposes for the time being.
Following consultations with core Ara Poutama stakeholders, the University of Waikato, and our funder (Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment), Nga Tūmanakotanga is currently on hiatus until conditions are sufficiently favourable to resume field work. Despite delays, there will be no impact on our overarching research aims and we will continue to support our students during this period.
On behalf of the research team, we thank you for your interest in our work and look forward to reconnecting with you in due course.
Welcome to our initial release of the Nga Tūmanakotanga – Turning the Tide on Prison Violence project website.
The research aims to address the following questions:
The RePAIR project began in 2019 and involves an international team of researchers led by Dr Armon Tamatea from the School of Psychology.
The research has two phases:
● Understanding the drivers for violence and aggression in our prisons
● Intervening in violence-prone sites
Understanding the drivers for violence and aggression in our prisons
Drawing on indigenous knowledge, gang culture, and clinical psychology, this phase expands beyond the conventional individual-focused ‘assessment-intervention-prevention’ approach to research in this field, towards a holistic and ecological way of thinking that recognises individual, organisational, cultural factors, as well as the role of the physical environment itself in the facilitation and prohibition of aggression.
Intervening on violence
The outcomes of the research will inform approaches and technical resources that can be used by relevant organisations such as the Department of Corrections and Police. Deliverables will include:
These will (1) reduce violence, (2) increase safety, and (3) reduce costs incurred by prisons (and the public) as a consequence of interpersonal aggression.