Many elderly Kaikohe residents will be the beneficiaries of firewood prepared by prisoners at Northland Regional Corrections Facility (NRCF).
Corrections Inmate Employment Area Operations Manager at NRCF Don Robertson says around 20 large trailer-loads of firewood were taken from the prison and distributed to elderly war veterans and widows nominated by the Kaikohe RSA, through contact with the Prison Manager Jonathon Howe.
“Many elderly people find it difficult to cut their own firewood, while for others it can be too expensive to purchase, so if we have excess wood we’re happy to help” says Jonathon.
Don says the firewood was produced by CIE-organised prison work-parties who removed several pine trees around the prison which had been felled by storms. They then cut the trees up in to smaller loads suitable for household use.
Don says CIE work parties at NRCF consist of supervised groups of low-security prisoners who meet strict criteria. They work in areas such as forestry, horticulture, farming, construction and grounds maintenance.
“The work keeps prisoners busy, teaches skills and pro-social activities. "This helps stop them getting into trouble. "If they cause problems they lose the opportunity to take part and that means going back to spending long hours in their cell.
“Work parties are also the first opportunity many prisoners have to show they are motivated to change. "If they work hard and have a good attitude we can then place them in other employment courses to the help them develop increased work skills.
“Most of the prisoners also recognise that they are doing something to help other people and appreciate that their hard work is going to help elderly people.”
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