Waikato District Councillor Jan Sedgwick, Spring Hill Corrections Facility Manager Chris Lightbown and Te Kauwhata Community Committee Chair Toni Grace.

Prisoners and community work offenders are doing a range of work to support their local RSAs with preparations in the lead-up to Anzac Day.

Prisoners from Otago Corrections Facility and community work offenders in the Otago community are helping to tidy up local memorials and community spaces as well as assisting with catering for local RSA and community events.

Further North, Christchurch Women’s Prison and community work offenders in Blenheim have been showing their support by helping with the painting and installation of more than 300 white wooden crosses for the Marlborough RSA ‘Fields of Remembrance’.

Each white cross represents a service man or woman from Marlborough who died serving their country since the beginning of the South African War in 1899.

“We greatly appreciate the help from Corrections, the prisoners at Christchurch Women’s and community offenders from Blenheim who have helped us get this project off the ground,” said Ross Cooke, Vice President, Marlborough RSA.

In Te Kauwhata, poppies are blooming, thanks to inspiration from last  year’s display in Huntly, support from the Community Committee and Lions, and the carpentry skills of Spring Hill Corrections Facility prisoners.

Around 100 wooden poppies were handed over by Prison Manager, Chris Lightbown, to the Te Kauwhata Community Committee in time for installation around the village prior to Anzac Day.

Mr Lightbown said it was a good example of the prison working alongside the community in a win-win situation.

“The Department of Corrections is committed to reducing re-offending by 25% by 2017 and initiatives like these can not only help those in our care give back to their local community, but also further hone skills which will help them to find employment on release. Employment is a major contributor to reduced re-offending.”

A large number of Corrections staff across the country will also be supporting Anzac Day by marching in parades, attending local Anzac events and laying wreaths on behalf of Corrections.

“We are proud to show our support for New Zealanders killed in war and to honour New Zealand’s returned servicemen and women.”