The effort made by offenders on community work sentences is going a long way towards helping keep Rotorua beautiful.
Community Probation & Psychological Services Rotorua Manager Roseanne Bray says Corrections have been heavily involved in ensuring the city continues to look good.
“Community Work sentences require offenders to do unpaid work in the community for non-profit organisations as reparation for their offending. Helping keep Rotorua clean is one such way work done by offenders can benefit the community.”
“Essentially we provide a free labour resource to the Council to use throughout the year to help keep Rotorua clean and tidy, this not only provides a regular and dependable service but also helps save ratepayers money.”
The work being done has clearly been appreciated with Corrections receiving recognition at the Keep Rotorua Beautiful annual awards held recently.
“We receive great feedback from the public who see offenders on Community Work cleaning areas around Rotorua. They see that they are working hard and doing something positive and they are grateful for their effort.”
Receiving positive acknowledgement from the public and from CPPS staff also means the offenders view the task as important and about ‘more than just picking up rubbish’.
Roseanne says typically two groups of offenders (20 people in total), are utilised twice each week to help keep the city tidy.
“We have work parties doing everything from cleaning community facilities like Te Amorangi Museum gardens, to maintaining parks and reserves and tidying roadsides. In addition to the Council providing a list of sites for the offenders to clean, Roseanne says she also uses her own resources.
“If my staff or I see an area that needs a good clean then we’ll send a group out to do it, we even have ex-offenders call us to report areas where rubbish has accumulated.”
Roseanne says while the removing rubbish benefits the community as a whole, having offenders on community work sentences involved in the work also provides wider benefits.
“Community work is a practical way to help offenders learn work habits, this can assist with getting future employment, which has been shown to greatly reduce the chances of further offending, which in turn makes the community safer.
“The offenders also get a real sense of pride from their efforts. They’re giving back something to the community, which is a positive outcome for the offenders, as they can see their hard work benefiting other people.”
Annually, New Zealand communities benefits from almost three million hours of labour supplied through community work sentences.
Note to reporter:
The speech given by Rotorua Mayor Kevin Winters recognising Corrections at the Keep Rotorua Beautiful annual award evening for the Rotorua Community Work team’s award reads:
“We have selected the Corrections Department tonight as one of the main supporters of Keep Rotorua Beautiful. Twice a week the supervisors of the Community Clean section take out their referees on wombles as requested by Keep Rotorua Beautiful.
"Without the support of these people our roads would not be as clean as they are, Te Amorangi Museum gardens would not be mulched, and schools would not get the attention they do during the holidays.
"We do have problems with wet weather and it is times like this that we really appreciate the assistance we get, as it is very obvious with the amount of litter that builds up quickly.
"Unhappily, the teams can be out one day and often by the next day the litter is just as bad again. Our sincere thanks to Pere Paul and his team.”
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