Prisoner training goal achieved early

Press Release – New Zealand Government

The Government’s pledge to increase the number of prisoners engaged in work training and skills development by 1000 has been achieved a year ahead of schedule, Corrections Minister Judith Collins said today.Hon Judith Collins Minister of Corrections

5 October 2011

Prisoner training goal achieved early

The Government’s pledge to increase the number of prisoners engaged in work training and skills development by 1000 has been achieved a year ahead of schedule, Corrections Minister Judith Collins said today.

The Prisoner Skills and Employment Strategy, launched by the Government in 2009, aimed to increase the number of prisoners engaged in work training and skills development by 1,000 over three years.

“After two years of the strategy, 1,028 additional prisoners are engaged in skill gain and employment. We have achieved this goal a full year ahead of schedule,” Ms Collins said.

“This achievement means that there are now record numbers of prisoners engaged in employment and education within our prisons.

“We have also seen much better Maori participation rates across the board as a result of the strategy, with more Maori prisoners undertaking employment and education activities and achieving New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) credits.”

Recent research carried out by the Corrections Department shows prisoner employment leads to reduced re-offending. The research found that the rate of reconviction within 12 months of a prisoner’s release reduced by 8 percent for those who took part in inmate employment, and 16.7 percent for those who participated in the Release to Work Programme.

The number of prisoners receiving literacy and numeracy training as part of other employment and training activities has increased from 166 to 620, which is a 273 percent increase.

There was also a 46 percent increase in credits achieved under the NZQF and a 44 percent increase in the number of National Certificates achieved.

ENDS

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