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Why Run Freedom Philosophy Courses in Prisons?

As a country, New Zealand still lags well behind more progressive countries like Norway and the Netherlands when it comes to reducing re-offending rates and helping former prisoners reintegrate back into society. (See Video) Our courses focus on helping prisoners to make positive changes so they can live better lives and also reduce reoffending.  This is not only helpful for prisoners, it’s better for society at large.  The courses sit alongside and support Department of Corrections existing rehabilitation programmes.  

 

The Freedom Philosophy Programme

Currently, the Freedom Philosophy programme runs four courses: Philosophy & Freedom; Philosophy & Resilience; Philosophy & Love; and Philosophy & Success.  Courses are run over three terms per year usually six weeks per term. Courses are flexible, independent of each other, and can be taken in any order. They form a foundation for students to build better lives.   The Feedback received from prison students has been excellent, encouraging us to make them more widely available.  (See Feedback)

Our Delivery Approach

Volunteer Tutors and Assistants who are members of our Society deliver the courses.  Every student is treated with respect and as an equal.  There are no tests or exams, just in-depth discussion leading to putting the teaching into practice. Course certificates and books are presented on completion in a graduation ceremony to celebrate the students’ success. (See Role of Tutors & Assistants)

 

Liaison with the Department of Corrections

We work closely with the Department of Corrections, especially the Volunteer Co-ordinators, whose assistance is vital and invaluable.  The Society is heavily reliant on the support of Corrections within the prison on a day-to-day basis.  They help everyone to feel safe and comfortable. Corrections also assist us by purchasing some books and printing the large volumes of course materials for our many participants.

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Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle. Some things are within your control, and some things are not
-Epictetus-
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MA TE HURUHURU KA RERE TE MANU

ADORN THE BIRD WITH FEATHERS SO IT MAY SOAR
He toka tu moana 

A rock standing firmly in the ocean
E iti noa ana, nA te aroha

 

Although it is small, it is given with love
 


 
Itiiti rearea, teitei kahikatea ka taea 

Although the rearea is small it can ascend the lofty heights of the Kahikatea tree

 
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