National is to increase the number of prisoners learning industry-based skills and parole will be refused for anyone who is eligible but chooses not to participate.
The party will also double the numbers receiving alcohol and drug treatment.
John Key said:
“At present, 43% of all prisoners – and 65% of those under 20 – re-offend within a year of release, and we must do more to change that.
“For too many criminals, a prison sentence is just an enforced career break.
“It’s a waste of taxpayer money to let these people serve their time without challenging them to change their behaviour – only to release them and then throw them back into prison again when they re-offend.
“That will mean more victims, and it’s vital that’s changed.
“If we want to reduce crime, imprisonment should not be seen as only a punishment, but also as an opportunity to rehabilitate a captive audience through work, drug and alcohol treatment, and other programmes that offer alternatives to a life of crime.”
The party’s prisons policy is here.