Crime-free Through Real Work brochure

Employing someone with a criminal past can help them build a crime-free future. Crime-free through real work tells you more. Printed copies are available at our probation sites and prison visits centres.

Download the Crime-free through real work (PDF 911.5MB)


nullAt Corrections, we help offenders gain the skills, training and qualifications that prepare them for the workforce and give them a better chance of finding sustainable employment.

Employers who hire someone despite their offending history can help make a real difference to individuals, their families, and the wider community. We are working with employers to recruit prisoners into real jobs on release.

Corrections also works with employers to understand the type of people they need, so we can match job seekers and meet future workforce demands.

Our partners

> Employers
> Industry Training Organisations
> Open Polytechnic and other tertiary providers
> NZ Qualifications Authority
> Work and Income
> Housing NZ

Work experience

Our Release to Work scheme allows prisoners to work in regular jobs in the community during the day.

They earn real wages, pay board to Corrections, and have to meet outstanding fines and other financial obligations. Remaining earnings are held until their release. The employer gains a worker with a strong work ethic, and the prisoner earns real pay, some valuable work experience and a chance to prove they are reliable. People on Release to Work are monitored to ensure public safety and may wear GPS technology to track their movements when travelling to and from the prison.

Getting work ready

The job seekers we work with come from all walks of life. Some already have skills and training that we can help them add to. Others need help with the basics like reading and maths.

In prison and in the community we refer offenders to suitable learning or training options. Some options are free and other costs may be met by government agencies.

We run learning modules focused on preparing people for work so they can develop the right attitudes, habits, and communication skills.

Up to 70% of prisoners have difficulty reading and writing. We provide essential literacy and numeracy skills as part of our training programmes.

An increasing number go on to achieve nationally recognised qualifications, such as the Level 2 National Certificate in Building, Construction and Allied Trade Skills (BCATS).

Education and training

Our qualified employment instructors work with our training partners to deliver training in the classroom and ‘on-the-job’ that prepares offenders for real jobs.

They can also work towards national accreditation in the NZ Qualifications Framework.

Corrections has more than 140 business-like operations in prisons that offer hands-on experience in a variety of industries such as construction, manufacturing, farming, forestry, horticulture and services.

A pathway to employment

We try to get every offender on a pathway to employment.

We start by assessing their individual needs to identify their skills and the type of work they are suited to. We then support them to gain skills and qualifications from a range of programmes and develop their work readiness. The final step is to match them into real jobs or link them with employment support programmes to connect them to work and encourage sustainable employment.

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Offenders in the workforce

A criminal conviction doesn’t have to mean losing paid work.

Where appropriate, Corrections will work with employers to ensure offenders are able to work in jobs that are safe for everyone. We check that the job allows the worker to meet the conditions of their sentence or order. This can mean sharing information with the employer and, depending on the sentence, installing electronic monitoring equipment in the workplace. Where necessary we ask employers to agree to some rules about when and where the offender will work, and what to do if those rules are broken.

Quick facts

  • 60 percent of prisoners are unemployed at the time of their offending.
  • Offenders on release to work pay 30% of their wages to Corrections as ‘board’.
  • In our Working Prisons, the majority of prisoners are expected to engage in employment, education and training, reintegrative and constructive activities for at least 40 hours per week.
  • Corrections employs 340 instructors to help train offenders in prison.