Corrections is using the Yellow Auckland Home Show as an opportunity to educate people about the realities of prisoner employment.
Corrections Inmate Employment (CIE) will have a stand at the exhibit to showcase the wide range of work conducted by prisoners.
CIE Manager Brent Maughan says most people would be surprised by the breadth of employment activities conducted in prison and of the high standard of work produced.
“There are over 140 industry units in prisons across the country in areas such as farming, horticulture, forestry, timber processing, joinery, building construction, concrete, light engineering, printing, electrical assembly, catering and laundry.”
Brent says there are over 4,400 prisoners involved in CIE or prison employment activities - 68.5 per cent of all sentenced prisoners.
“There are several benefits in providing employment training to prisoners. Learning work skills in prison improves their chances of finding work upon release. Not only is getting a job good for their self-esteem, but importantly it reduces their chances of re-offending, which keeps them out of jail and helps make communities safer.
“In addition to employment training, prisoners have the opportunity to achieve NZQA Credits that lead towards an industry qualification, with CIE prisoners earning 68,521 NZQA credits in 2008 - 2009.
“Gaining a qualification is an important step to avoid further imprisonment considering that the majority of prisoners don’t have formal qualifications before going to prison.”
Brent says in addition to learning about the work of CIE many people would be surprised to see the quality of work produced in prison and the attitude of the prisoners.
“We get many employers telling us that our workers are keen, work hard and produce a very high quality of work. That’s testament to the quality of the training they get in prison and is also due to the fact that most prisoners know they have been given an opportunity to improve their lives and they want to avoid returning to prison at all costs.”
Brent says in addition to educating the public about the their work, CIE also plan to use the Yellow Auckland Home Show to develop business contacts and improve industry links.
“There are many misconceptions about the type of training undertaken in prison and the Yellow Auckland Home Show gives us a good opportunity to show people what is really involved and how beneficial it can be for the prisoners and businesses involved.”
Note to reporter:
Corrections Inmate Employment (CIE) aims to provide industry based employment training to improve the employment prospects of prisoners when they are released. This involves making a long-term contribution to prisoners’ rehabilitation and reintegration back into society and also reducing the chances of them re-offending, which in turn helps make communities safer.
CIE assesses labour market trends to identify industries that require skilled workers within the geographical areas that prisoners are likely to be released. It then provides training and employment opportunities within these types of industries to upskill prisoners in New Zealand’s 20 prisons.
In July 2009 there were 2741 prisoners in CIE employment. There were also 1693 employed in internal prison industries undertaking activities including cleaning, cooking, laundry and grounds maintenance. This equates to 68.5 per cent of all sentenced prisoners.
For further information contact the Communications Services Desk:
Phone: (04) 460 3365
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