Transcript of Sam talking about his work as an instructor - extended clip
The aim of an instructor's role is to teach our prisoners the skills from our respective industries, so that if and when they leave the prison environment, they've been given an opportunity to use what they've been taught to secure some form of employment. There are various, various roles - engineering, carpentry, grounds maintenance, printing, catering, kapa haka. Lots of choices.
I pick my prisoners up around 8:30 in the morning from their respective units. Do a pre-work maintenance check on their gear. If we left here at 9:15, we may not get back here until 2:00, 2:30. And it is then that they have their lunch. They have a break, clean up, and then I have to take them back to the unit.
If there was some training, some theory training that I have to do, I would have to work it into the work schedule, and allow two to three hours.
Once I drop them back to the unit around 3:00, 3:15, I would come back here, and then work out the next day's work schedule.
Each individual prisoner is different, based on their culture, based on their attitude. So understanding that and working with it, not against their culture. This isn't a one-way street. It's a bit of give-and-take, as well.
You're pretty safe with all the security measures around an institution. You're safer than someone driving on the motorway. You are. So there are safety measures here. There are people here who will support you all the way through. So to be fearful of a prisoner because he's got a violent offense, they inevitably, like I said, don't want to lose their jobs, so they are very well-behaved.
They see an opportunity to get employed. They get paid for it. They get to learn. They get taught things. And they get the opportunity to put into practice the stuff that they are being taught.
To make a good instructor, you have to have good communication skills. And that's a priority. You've got to be able to communicate with your peers, with the prisoners, with the system that you're working, and the environment you're working in. If you can communicate well with that, you'll go a long way.
There are a lot of guys here that are lost, really. And if you can get them back on the road, you can make a difference to the lives of these guys. You're not going to have a hit every time, you've just got to keep persevering.