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Over a million community work hours from offenders

Hon Anne Tolley
Minister of Corrections

5 December 2013

Over a million community work hours from offenders

Corrections Minister Anne Tolley says that offenders have clocked up over a million hours in unpaid community work so far in the fiscal year, to pay something back for the crimes they have committed.

Every week offenders across New Zealand are engaged in activities ranging from cleaning up graffiti, to gardening, painting and clearing rubbish.

Since 1 July, offenders have carried out almost 1,100,000 hours of community work, with this total now accessible on the Corrections website, where it will be updated monthly. In the last financial year, over three million hours of community work was carried out.

“Community work can be a suitable punishment for offenders, but it also benefits them and the communities in which they have committed crimes,” says Mrs Tolley.

“It is entirely appropriate that they pay something back to society, and that they are seen to make a positive contribution to communities.

“The offenders themselves are also given the opportunity to gain work experience and develop employment habits.

“We know they are less likely to reoffend if they have the skills to find a job, and so far Corrections has reduced reoffending by over 11 per cent, towards the target of a 25 per cent reduction by 2017.

“We have also recently passed legislation which allows Probation Officers to direct that up to 20 per cent of a community work sentence can be spent in training on basic work and living skills, if it will reduce the offender’s risk of reoffending.”

Offenders can be sentenced to carry out between 40 and 400 hours of community work, and can work up to 10 hours a day, or up to 40 hours in any one week.

Community Probation manages offenders to hold them to account to comply with their sentences and orders.


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