For­mer in­mates hired

Rodney Times - - OUT & ABOUT - CA­TRIN OWEN

For­mer in­mates are be­ing given more op­por­tu­ni­ties to re-en­ter the work­force. Last month the Depart­ment of Corrections signed up Waste Man­age­ment as its 100th em­ployer com­mit­ted to hir­ing for­mer in­mates.

Corrections Min­is­ter Louise Upston said such part­ner­ships were pro­vid­ing em­ploy­ers with mo­ti­vated and skilled work­ers for a wide range of jobs.

The na­tional prison pop­u­la­tion is at its high­est ever with more than 10,000 in­mates. There are an­other 30,000 com­mu­nity-based of­fend­ers na­tion­wide. Waste Man­age­ment chief ex­ec­u­tive Tom Nick­els said the com­pany would look to pro­vide jobs to of­fend­ers who were still in prison, but were al­lowed to go out dur­ing the day and work.

Waste Man­age­ment had 1500 em­ploy­ees around New Zealand and about 50 va­can­cies. It also had 800 trucks on New Zealand roads and was strug­gling to find drivers, Nick­els said.

Corrections north­ern re­gional com­mis­sioner Jeanette Burns said over the past five months at least 300 peo­ple with con­vic­tions had been placed into jobs, 100 of those in the north­ern re­gion.

An em­ploy­ment support ser­vice had been run­ning for the past three years, Burns said.

Corrections also pro­vided hous­ing and fam­ily support, Burns said.

SUP­PLIED

Jeanette Burns and Tom Nick­els.

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