Real jobs on release

The greatest contribution the Department of Corrections can make to New Zealanders is to reduce re-offending. Breaking the cycle of crime results in fewer victims and safer communities. The Government is committed to achieving a 25% reduction in re-offending by 2017. This will mean 4,600 fewer offenders returning and 18,500 fewer victims.

To achieve this, we will work with our partners in the community and across the justice, public, and private sectors to move people away from a life of crime. Through a combination of interventions such as increased alcohol and drug treatment, greater access to education, skills training, employment programmes, expanded reintegration services, and innovative rehabilitation programmes, we can make a difference to people’s lives.

Our plan to reduce re-offending involves developing new and innovative approaches, while expanding and strengthening existing services with proven results. This plan will evolve during the next few years to ensure that we are responsive to offenders’ changing needs.

Working with employers and industry to provide real jobs for an additional 7,900 community offenders and prisoners released from prison.

Recent data has shown that up to 60% of prisoners are unemployed before imprisonment. Yet we know that people who find stable employment on leaving prison are less likely to commit crime in the 12 months after their release.

A job can provide people with a sense of purpose, regular routine, and economic well-being, which all contribute to them leading an offence-free life outside prison.

By partnering with Work and Income, employers, and industry, we will ensure that more prisoners get a job when they leave prison. The search for a job will begin in prison and continue once people return to the community.

The training that we offer will be matched to the needs of the labour market to ensure that prisoners attain marketable skills.

Community offenders also struggle to compete in the job market. Through a much stronger working relationship with Work and Income, employers, and industry, community-based offenders will receive the help they need to get and stay in a job.

Our partnering with employers and industry to secure jobs for offenders will mean, by 2017:

  • 400 additional prisoners a year on Release to Work
  • 1,500 prisoners a year receiving improved services to help them find sustainable employment
  • 6,000 community offenders a year assisted to find stable employment.