Minister congratulates staff and prisoners at Northland prison

Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis today presented Long Service Awards to staff and congratulated prisoners who have completed trades training at Northland Region Corrections Facility.

“Education, employment and rehabilitation are crucial to reducing re-offending and our prison population but it can’t be done without the dedication of Corrections’ staff,” Mr Davis says.

“Staff work in an environment which requires them to be adaptable, resilient, and the daily decisions they are required to make can have a profound impact on how successful we are in reducing a prisoners’ likelihood of reoffending.

“It was my pleasure to award Long Service Awards to nine Corrections officers and other staff at Northland Region Corrections Facility. I am grateful for their ongoing work to help prisoners turn their lives around.

“It’s a difficult job but the fact that today’s recipients have served seven or more years is a testament to their commitment to keeping our communities safe.”

While at the prison, Mr Davis also congratulated seven prisoners for completing the 17-week New Zealand Certificate in Construction Trade Skills Painting, Level 3 programme run by Northtec.

“This qualification gives them a much better chance of finding work in the construction industry once they’ve served their sentence,” Mr Davis says.

“It’s a big foot in the door. They can start out as a labourer, brush-hand or apprentice, and then go on to work as a painter with some further training and experience.

“The graduates should be proud of what they’ve achieved and I have urged them to make sure they put their new skills to good use once they’re outside the wire. That’s the only way they can build a better life for themselves and their whanau.

“The safety of our community is paramount and the best way to ensure this is by rehabilitating prisoners and removing barriers to them settling back in. This programme is just one of the ways we’re making this happen.”

Northland Region Corrections Facility has worked with NorthTec for over eight years, providing a range of programmes at the prison, including carpentry, forestry and horticulture.