The New Zealand Herald has run a feature and video on Serco’s partnership with the PlaceMakers Group at Auckland South Corrections Facility in Wiri. The programme, which started when the prison opened in 2015, provides prisoners with in-depth training and work opportunities to prepare them for employment on release.
There are currently 32 prisoners in the programme and 14 have graduated into employment. Seven are still working for PlaceMakers and three have moved on to other employment.
Former prisoner Mark Hughes told the Herald: "I used to be a lone wolf and usually take off by myself, that's where the trouble was. When I got incarcerated it showed me how much my family love me and how much I love them." He was employed in November last year but has now moved on to "brighter horizons" doing fibreglass lamination for a company he had previously worked for.
Hughes told the outlet that his goal is to stay crime free and to one day get into management. "I hate to think what I would be [without the programme]. I'd probably turn back to crime."
Serco Prison Director Mike Inglis says the program is part of a wider focus to prepare men for life after prison. He said the program encouraged responsibility for the men as they had to write their own CVs, apply, be interviewed for the role and turn up on time.