Traineeships prove to be a one-way ticket out of prison

Corrective Services NSW has welcomed a new report showing that some inmates who complete traineeships in custody are up to 60 per cent less likely to reoffend.

The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) study looked at almost 1,000 offenders released between 2010 and 2020 and also found “statistically significant” reductions in the number of Aboriginal trainees returning to custody.

Commissioner Peter Severin said in the past six months Corrective Services Industries (CSI) increased the number of inmate trainees from 250 to 472 in direct response to the draft report.

“While anecdotally, we know that education, training and job skills assist inmates to reintegrate into the community and live law-abiding lives, we now have the data to prove that traineeships work,” Mr Severin said.

“Inmates in NSW can participate in a wide range of industry traineeships, including logistics, warehousing, food processing, construction and business administration.

“Traineeships usually take about 18 months to complete and upon release substantially increase a persons’ chance of employment.”

The BOCSAR report on vocational training in NSW prisons found that 12 months after the inmate trainees were released from custody there was a:

  • 17.55 per cent reduction in personal, property and serious drug offending among Aboriginal trainees.
  • 45.13 percent reduction in property offending among all groups of trainees.
  • 60.79 per cent reduction in property offending among trainees aged over 40.

CSNSW is working to reduce reoffending by five per cent by 2023 and increasing inmate participation in traineeships will substantially contribute to this objective.

Assistant Commissioner Corrections Industry and Capacity Leon Taylor said it was important to equip inmates with skills that met industry needs and expectations.

“At Francis Greenway Correctional Complex, we have a number of inmates completing traineeships in warehousing and logistics, with many saying they would never have considered such a field prior to coming into custody,” Mr Taylor said.

“Prior to their release, we link them up with nearby businesses, so they can walk straight out of jail with their traineeship and into a job, reducing their chances of reoffending.”

CSI also provides literary and numeracy programs, as well as jobs and vocational training in areas including construction, engineering, agriculture and food preparation.

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