Former inmates hired
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.
Jeanette Burns and Tom Nickels.