The important thing is he wants to make a fresh start. He was desperate for a chance. The job came just in time for Henry, who was raised in a dysfunctional Waikato home where drugs, alcohol and violence were parts of daily life and had been in and out trouble with police from the age of I was on the edge. I had a few interviews, but as soon as they knew I had a record, they swept me under the carpet.
He is saving to travel, if his convictions allow it, to Australia and Europe. He is determined not to go back inside and has developed a steely self-control where once he might have been hot-headed and violent. Dozens of other businesses are supporting the scheme informally. For the inmates, a job is as much about restoring their mana as reducing their risk of reoffending. Stephen Hemara, left, with Karl Bethell: But Bethell says appropriate placements depend on what crimes have been committed and the steps an offender has taken to rehabilitate himself or herself.
Corrections goes into prisons three months before potential clients are released to look at what extra work needs to be done to prepare them for the job market. Corrections and the penal-reform and prisoner-aid group the Howard League run regular sessions for driver-licence training. The department wants to expand its employer base, especially for jobs in factories, retail, logistics, administration and hospitality. Corrections community education and employment officer Stephen Hemara, a former Waitakere probation officer, says that district was the first to dedicate staff to finding work for its clients.
Today, he works with the hardest-to-place offenders, often those with a history of violence or sex crimes. Anyone from a hammerhand up to a carpenter is going to get a job.
So are skilled machinery operators and anyone with a heavy truck licence. Everything needs to be weighed up. But we put a lot of finances into training and we expect them to be paid appropriately for their skills. I say we all have choices. We can leave them at home doing nothing and going back to their old ways. Or we give them an opportunity. For two years after he was released in , he tried to find work by himself. I went for hundreds of jobs over two years. I was interviewed about 30 times and got to the final list eight times.
But that was when you told them if you had a conviction or not. As soon as I told them, you could see their faces drop. I offered to work for free on a trial basis, but got absolutely no takers — no one was willing to give me a foot in the door.
Finally, he asked his probation officer to assist, and Hemara put him through an occupational health and safety course, which helped him get a job with a road crew operating a stop-go sign.
Within 12 months, he was supervising the crew. Simon has a message for employers. Yes, it requires wrap-around support, a gentle introduction to a whole new world, a guide to help them navigate the complexities of the corporate world wrapped in paperwork. They are used to a world of physicality and brutality. Nine continue to work there. What have they been convicted for? That sort of thing. They will do everything and anything — whatever we ask them to do they will do.
They are reliable, they turn up, they go beyond what is required. One year-old employee started living on the street after he was kicked out of home. I arrived at work one morning last winter and he was waiting for me on the doorstep, wet, bedraggled and thin. I contacted Stephen [Hemara], who organised a place for him to stay.
He was in such a bad state. What I can change is the impact it has on my family. She originally found a job at The Warehouse in South Auckland through Corrections, before moving to Ritchies because it was closer to where she lived.
Binsted says it took her more than a year to get a job. I thought it might never happen for me. It takes my mind off being upset about [not seeing] my children. Both are staying with family members and want to move to their own place. Hann says Corrections contacted him in November about the young man, who wanted to work in the rocket industry. Using his research contacts in Northland, Hann involved him in the rocket science course at Mangakahia Area School, inland from Whangarei, and a series of rocket launches at a nearby Whatitiri farm last year.
Corrections has found a tutor, who is volunteering his own time to help Jay get the NCEA credits necessary to enrol in an engineering degree and join the research group as an undergraduate.
Chris Turney and Nivlesh Harakh. Well groomed and snappily dressed in trousers and a smart checked shirt, a leather belt cinched tightly at his waist, he looks every inch the young man destined for big things.
I was labouring for under-the-table wages. They are part of us. We either lock them up forever or rehabilitate them into society. Another person I employed is the son of a friend of mine. All my brothers and sisters have degrees. I went to a private school. I went to university when it was free. If my father and my uncle were drug dealers and on benefits, I would be, too.