Prisoners working at the Corrections Inmate Employment (CIE) joinery workshop at the Northland Region Corrections Facility are being given the chance to contribute to a better future for three needy families, as well as getting the chance to build a brighter future for themselves.
Prisoners currently studying towards NZQA qualifications in the NRCF joinery are currently putting their newly learned skills to good use building stairs and decking for three Habitat for Humanity houses.
The houses are being constructed in Dargaville, and the pieces the prisoners are construcing transported there to be added in.
Habitat for Humanity is a not-for-profit organisation that partners with families-in-need to eliminate sub-standard housing by building, renovating and selling simple, decent homes on an affordable basis.
“It’s a great chance for these guys to put what they’ve been learning to use in a way that truly gives back to the community that they took from,” says CIE Northland Area Operations Manager Don Robertson.
“We’ve been involved in building for Habitat for Humanity before, and in Feburary the guys will be given the opportunity to frame up a whole house. It’s great to see the satisfaction they get out of completing these projects, and knowing that they are making a real contribution,” says Don.
“This sort of training offers tangible benefits to prisoners. It can really help improve a prisoner’s attitude and outlook to make a quantifiable contribution to society, not to mention the boost it gives them to achieve a qualification at the same time.”
"Research shows that the majority of prisoners have limited education and work experience when they enter prison. Working with prisoners and providing them with opportunities to learn a trade or get some qualifications and experience we can ultimately help break the cycle of crime in our communities,” says Don.
By the end of this year, over 70 prisoners at NRCF will have completed NZQA approved National Certificates in forestry, horticulture and carpentry in partnership with NorthTec.
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