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Record Fresh Start Performance for year to June 30

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Record Fresh Start Performance for year to June 30, 2001

Fresh Start and its clients had a record placement level in the year to June 30, 2001.

Almost 350 persons were assisted into employment ¡V 311 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 37 long term unemployed were placed in position where no Fresh Start clients were immediately available.

The result of 311 placements for Fresh Start clients during the year exceeded the target of 240 by 71 or more than 29 %.

In the final quarter to June 30, 70 persons were assisted into employment.

The President of Fresh Start Inc., Hon Jonathan Elworthy, and Secretary-Manager Keith Hancox, announced the results today.

In a joint statement they said:

¡§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.¡¨

¡§The results in the past 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,¡¨ Messrs Elworthy and Hancox said.

¡§ It has been pleasing to receive correspondence from some of our clients expressing appreciation of the service provided.

¡§ In one instance a client was released from prison after serving four years for a serious offence. He was placed into well-paid, full time employment, within three days of release. His letter of thanks was much appreciated. ¡§

Messrs Elworthy and Hancox praised many private sector employers who had been supportive of Fresh Start and its clients, but said that experience during the year indicated that some government agencies were themselves discriminating against persons with criminal convictions even though those convictions had no direct relevance to a particular job.

¡§ For example some agencies bar clients with murder convictions even though experience shows that persons placed on parole for life have the lowest recidivism rate,¡¨ they said.

¡§This is an issue that we will need to raise with Government Ministers and those agencies in the coming months.¡¨

The clients placed during the year 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.

They 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.

Ends


Statistical and background information follows

FRESH START INC.

Job placements Year Ended - June 30, 2001


Area 1st
Qtr 2nd
Qtr
3rd
Qtr
4th
Qtr to
30.6.01
Total Work
Experience Others
Assisted into
Employment
Northern 58 67 29 57 211 106 (1) 6

Eastern/ HB/WCNI/
Man/ Horo/Wton 15 33 6 5 59
2 31
Southern 11 14 8 8 41 2


Total
84
114
43
70
311(2)
110*

37**


Notes:

„h 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 those appointments become ¡§permanent¡¨.

** Long-term WINZ clients placed because no suitable Fresh Start clients were available at the time to fill those positions

(1) Includes 50 temporary placements with one Auckland-based organisation.

(2) Budget/target for Year to June 30 , 2001 - 240

For further information or clarification please contact:

Keith Hancox, National Secretary-Manager
Tel 06 370.1173 Fax 06 370.1115 or Mobile 025 804.938
E-mail keith.fresh@xtra.co.nz

~~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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.

5. Participating organisations and individuals

Fresh Start Incorporated is an IRD approved charity.

Fresh Start Inc. National Committee members are representatives of Business New Zealand (NZ Employers Federation & its constituents), the Department of Corrections, the N.Z. Council of Trade Unions, Dept of Work & Income, The Community Employment Group (DoL) and other organisations and individuals.

Office holders include The Rt. Rev. Sir Paul Reeves (Patron), Douglas Myers, Simon Caughey, Mrs June Jackson and Hon Sir Peter Tapsell (Vice Patrons), Hon Jonathan Elworthy (President) and Professor Jim Rowe (Vice President).
Fresh Start's Mission Statement ¡V
Reducing re-offending and promoting a safer society by providing employment opportunities for persons with criminal convictions.

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