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Increasing skills and education in prisons

Hon Anne Tolley
Minister of Corrections

2 May 2012

Increasing skills and education in prisons

Corrections Minister Anne Tolley says there has been a 45 per cent rise in the number of NZQF credits gained by prisoners from trade training inside the wire.

In the last financial year there were 108,000 credits achieved in total by an average 4,700 prisoners engaged in trades and employment training.

“These figures are extremely encouraging,” says Mrs Tolley.

“An increasing number of prisoners are gaining vital work skills, and we know that offenders who gain employment after release are less likely to reoffend.

“That means fewer victims of crime, safer communities and reduced pressure on the justice sector pipeline.

“This Government is committed to increasing the numbers of offenders involved in education and training.

“For example, new training workshops at Christchurch Men’s Prison will see up to 130 prisoners per year provided with real skills and qualifications in essential trades such as plumbing, roofing, drain-laying, and painting and decorating.

“These are all areas where there are likely to be major skills shortages as we rebuild Christchurch.

“And over the next two months an independent provider, Cognition, is reviewing how education is delivered in prisons and how this can be improved.

“Lack of education and training are major drivers of crime, and by addressing these issues with our increased focus on rehabilitation and reducing reoffending we are making New Zealand communities safer.”

ENDS

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