Agencies recognised for finding jobs for offenders
Corrections, Police, Work and Income recognised for finding jobs for offenders
Published: 1 day ago
Last updated: 21 February 2014; 1 hour ago
State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today recognised the Department of Corrections, NZ Police and Work and Income of the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) for a collaborative programme that is helping offenders find jobs.
“This is another fine example of better public services in action where you have government departments working together across agency boundaries to make a real difference in the lives of New Zealanders,” Mr Rennie said.
“Such collaboration becomes even more meaningful as it also addresses the problem of re-offending because people who are employed are less likely to re-offend,” the State Services Commissioner said.
In Tokoroa, collaboration between Corrections and a work broker from Work and Income has led to eight offenders being placed in work while six offenders found jobs in Tauranga under the new pilot programme.
The State Services Commissioner also expressed appreciation to the employers who were willing to give offenders a second chance. “I am grateful to the employers who are working with the public sector to give offenders a second lease on life,” Mr Rennie said.
“We know that people in regular employment are less likely to re-offend but for many offenders it can be immensely difficult to find work. Having a work broker able to assist them in this challenge makes it easier for people to make positive life changes,” said Kim Smith, Acting Principal Advisor – Employment Development at the Department of Corrections.
Under what is called the Joining Forces programme, Police and Corrections are sharing expertise and resources in ways that help them operate more effectively. To do this, the two agencies are identifying opportunities to do some things differently and encouraging both small and large initiatives.
"We are giving our full support to this collaboration as it fits fairly and squarely within our drive to prevent crime,” said Inspector Steve Bullock, Area Commander for Taupo Police.
The agencies are also working together to identify appropriate training or employment opportunities for young offenders.