Corrections’ partnerships place 1500 people into employment

Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says Corrections’ partnerships with employers have helped place over 1500 offenders into work as part of an ongoing commitment to ensuring offenders safely transition back into their communities and don’t re-offend.

Speaking at Corrections’ Regional Engagement Forum in Whangarei this morning, Kelvin Davis acknowledged the successful collaboration between Corrections and businesses through the This Way For Work pilot programme.

“For many of these people, this will be the first time they’ve held down a proper job. We shouldn’t underestimate how much of a difference that makes – if someone is able to walk out the prison gates and straight into a job then they’re far less likely to offend again,” Kelvin Davis said.

“That can be life-changing for them and their whānau, and it ultimately means our communities are much safer.

“I know it can be a big ask for employers to give someone with a criminal conviction another chance, but the reality is that we need employers to take that chance if we’re going to successfully reintegrate offenders.

“At the same time, employers are able to access a trained and motivated workforce, know upfront who they’re hiring, and receive ongoing support from Corrections both before and after they employ an offender. It’s win-win really.

“I’m really grateful that so many businesses right across the country have stepped up to support this programme and we must keep building on this success.

“I encourage all business owners, big and small, to jump on board because the more we can do to rehabilitate offenders and help them lead a normal life, the better off, and safer, we’ll all be,” Kelvin Davis said.

Notes to Editors

  • Further Regional Engagement Forums will also be held in Palmerston North in October and Rotorua and Dunedin in November.
  • This Way For Work has been running for 21 months and employs 13 specialist offender recruitment consultants across New Zealand to work with employers to help former prisoners and community offenders into sustainable employment.
  • Corrections currently has over 160 partnerships with employers in a range of industries, including construction, forestry, farming, transport, and electronic and electrical equipment manufacturing.