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Record Fresh Start Performance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Record Fresh Start Performance nine months ended March 2001

Fresh Start and its clients had a record placement level in the nine months to March 2001.

More than 273 persons were assisted into employment – 241 of them Fresh Start clients with recent criminal convictions.

In addition a further 110 persons were placed in jobs providing work experience and or training and a further 60 long term unemployed were placed in position where no Fresh Start clients were immediately available.

The result of 273 placements compared with a six-month target of 180.

In the quarter to March 31, notwithstanding public and annual holidays, 43 persons were assisted to gain employment and a further 12 assisted into job training.

The results were announced today by the President of Fresh Start Inc., Hon Jonathan Elworthy.

“At a time when the community is demanding longer and tougher sentences it is important that those who really do wish to make a fresh start and not re-offend are given every opportunity to properly reintegrate into the community and support themselves and their dependants,” he said.

“The results so far this year demonstrate that, given adequate resources, Fresh Start can and will make a significant impact in an area where the community believes increased emphasis is essential if re-offending by former prison inmates is to be reduced,” he said.

The clients placed had previously been convicted of offences such as rape, sexual violation, aggravated robbery, burglary, driving while disqualified, assault, drug importation and / or supply, fraud, theft, grievous bodily harm, murder, manslaughter and many lesser offences.

The clients were placed into jobs such as couriers, labouring, forestry, building, engineering, painting, process working, recycling, tiling, office management, furniture manufacture, manufacturing process work, secretarial work, orchard (fruit pickling), horticulture, fork hoist operation, machine operation, road works, gardening, cooking, kitchen work the hospitality industry, laundry work, and farm work.

Notes:
* Work experience. These placements are “temporary” jobs for persons who, if they prove suitable, may have their jobs converted into permanent positions. They are not included in “permanent” placements until or unless those appointments become “permanent”.

For further information or clarification please contact:

Keith Hancox, Secretary Manager
Tel 06 370.1173 Fax 370.1115 or Mobile 025 804.938
~~ ~ ~ ~ ~
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
1. Fresh Start's operational principles include:
* A commitment by all ex-offenders NOT to re-offend and to remain drug free;
* Full disclosure (to Fresh Start and employers) of criminal convictions by Fresh Start job applicants;
* Non discriminatory employment practices (by employers) against persons with criminal convictions where the convictions) are not relevant to a job;
* Demonstrated commitment by all Fresh Start registrants to a way of life that accepts and embraces societal norms;
2. Objectives - Fresh Start's current 3-year plan (99-02) includes the following objectives:
* To foster among all employers a willingness to employ ex-offenders
* To work in partnership with clients, families and employers to promote the employment of ex-offenders
* To encourage ex-offenders and families to contribute positively to the resolution of their own problems
3. Outcomes
* Strengthening family relationships and less family and other violence
* Less personal and family reliance on Social Welfare Active contributor to the community
* Better attitude to drugs / alcohol and reduced crime and recidivism
4. Expected impact
The rate of recidivism will be reduced with consequential reductions in family violence and other offending. Substantial financial and social benefits will accrue and result in a safer more productive society. International studies support this contention. International studies in the United Kingdom and the United States of America support the contention that programmes such as Fresh Start contribute to a major reduction in re-offending.

Fresh Start's Mission Statement -

Reducing re-offending and promoting a safer society by providing employment opportunities for persons with criminal convictions.

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