Work done by an offender on Community Work in Nelson is not only helping them change their own life, but it also has the potential to help countless other people.
Community Probation & Psychological Services Nelson/Marlborough Area Manager Polly Cunningham says Corrections offered the Problem Gambling Foundation the services of an offender on Community Work to help them produce an educational DVD.
Polly says Community Work sentences require offenders to do unpaid work in the community for non-profit organisations as reparation for their offending.
“We work with a large number of community groups and provide them with resources to help them achieve their goals. It’s great to be able to help further the work of a worthy group such as the Problem Gambling Foundation.”
The offender worked with the Foundation to produce their DVD and wrote some of the script and helped with behind the scenes work. The Foundation were so impressed with her input that she was listed in the DVD’s credits.
Dr Philip Townshend, Clinical Psychologist at the Problem Gambling Foundation said the assistance provided by the offender was of great benefit.
“They worked hard and produced a high standard of work. Her input was very useful. Also, we had a very limited budget, so having a free resource helped us greatly.”
Philip says the DVD was designed for problem gambling clients and their families and covers areas such as how pokies work, gambling myths and access to treatment.
The offender also gained valuable skills and she also gained a tremendous sense of pride as a result, Polly says.
“Community work is a practical way for offenders to learn work habits and can assist with getting employment, which has been shown to greatly reduce the chances of further offending.”
“She’s used her skills to help other people and she feels good as a result. She knows the future is in her own hands now.”
Annually, New Zealand communities benefits from almost three million hours of labour supplied through Community Work sentences.
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