26 September 2023

Corrections’ pathways take ex-prisoners to work

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Corrections Victoria is offering a range of employment opportunities for people leaving prison by helping them get jobs with suppliers and businesses who join its new “employment pathways”.

Unveiling the new pathways, Corrections Victoria said there was already a range of employment initiatives in operation across the system which historically leveraged employment support programs and vocational training courses.

“Most recently however, Corrections Victoria has created new employment pathways by establishing employment focused partnerships with commercial customers,” Corrections said.

“Up to 225 people leaving prison will be offered employment opportunities with textile and food wholesaling businesses over the next two years,” it said.

“For example, Corrections Victoria has partnered with suppliers who provide textiles and perishable food items for the Prisoner Canteens – corrections will provide trained and skilled workers, and they will deliver job opportunities for people leaving prison.”

Corrections Victoria said the textiles procurement was expected to deliver 49-125 jobs for people leaving prison over the next two years in warehousing and general maintenance, while the Prisoner Shop procurement was expected to deliver another 75-100 jobs over the next two years in warehousing and food processing.

It said there was potential for both partnerships to grow in number and employment type in the coming years.

“Gaining employment is a key challenge for people leaving prison,” Corrections Victoria said.

“These Post Release Employment Opportunities (PREO) focus on providing opportunities to help people in prison turn their lives around through training and employment in Prison Industries work while in prison, and subsequent opportunities for post release employment.”

Corrections said that in 2020-21, the rate of prisoners undertaking education was 43 per cent and the proportion of eligible prisoners in employment was 94.3 per cent – the highest in Australia.

It said training and employment through PREO complemented recidivism reduction programs, including drug and alcohol treatment, family connection programs and housing services.

More information about the new employment pathways can be accessed at this PS News link.

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