Inmate Employment - Coalition On Track

  • Paul East

"The finishing touches are being put on a detailed policy document designed to achieve the Government's commitment to get every inmate doing a full day's work," Minister of Corrections, Paul East, announced tonight.

Mr East was speaking in Christchurch to members of PILLARS (Prison Inmates' Loved ones Linked As one to Renew Strength).

"At the moment about 70% of all inmates are engaged in some sort of work and the Department of Corrections is regularly identifying new employment opportunities. These range from labouring to highly specialised computer based work. Ultimately we want all inmates learning the values and skills that come from doing a full day's work," he said.

Mr East said developments in inmate employment had come hard on the heels of another Coalition commitment - clamping down on drugs and alcohol in prisons.

"It's only a year since the election and Corrections is already well on its way to wrapping up its second significant Coalition Agreement commitment," said Mr East.

Mr East said there had also been considerable progress in other Corrections-related Coalition commitments. For example work was well advanced in looking at alternatives to prison such as home detention and a new youth based sentence.

"Corrections, as with a number of other portfolios, has made steady progress in achieving the commitments outlined in the Coalition Agreement.

"I am here to tell you that the Coalition is working to implement a prudent mix of growth, fiscal responsibility and progressive social policies," said Mr East.