Prisoner Skills and Employment Strategy 2009-2012

The Department of Corrections provides employment and employment-related training in prisons to increase the chance that prisoners will obtain sustainable post-release employment.

Raising the skill levels of prisoners not only helps their chances of finding sustainable employment on release, but more importantly makes prisoners less likely to re-offend, which in turn helps to keep our communities safe.

The cover of the Prisoner Skills and Employment Strategy 2009-2012.There are many barriers to overcome to help prisoners acquire the skills they need to succeed in the labour market.

Many prisoners have low skills, low qualifications and low levels of literacy and numeracy. They also have had little or no experience in the work environment before entering prison.

The Department recognises that helping prisoners to achieve employment post-release will require detailed planning from the time they enter prison through to their release and transition to the community. It is also a goal that will need a significant investment of resources and time.

A key issue for the strategy to address will be ensuring an appropriate focus on improving employment outcomes for Maori.
Succeeding for Maori will have significant impacts on the overall re-imprisonment rate, and maximising employment-related opportunities for Maori in prison must remain a priority.

The Prisoner Skills and Employment Strategy 2009-2012 creates a framework and programme of work that will help to address the significant skill deficits and obstacles that prisoners face in obtaining post-release employment, and ultimately contributes to making our communities safer.

Barry Matthews
Chief Executive