Why giving prisoners a second chance benefits us all - Pink Bins

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know we care a lot about the environment. Well, we care about people, too, which is why we support the Department of Corrections Release to Work Programme.

It’s easy to be unsympathetic towards people who have committed crimes — “you made your bed, so lie in it,” right? But, here’s the thing: most prisoners eventually get out. And, if they can’t fit back into society and earn a living,  guess what happens? You know the answer to that; they re-offend, which helps no one.

What is Release to Work?

Release to Work places suitable minimum-security prisoners into paid employment within communities. By providing inmates real job experience, Corrections aims to make it easier for them to find work once released.

Don’t panic!

Now, it’s important to note that Corrections doesn’t release any old prisoner — they have no intention of unleashing some axe-wielding maniac on us.

Here is how a prisoner qualifies:

  • They are close to being released.
  • They have proven they can be trusted.
  • They are highly motivated and eager to work.

It’s good for us, too

I must confess that our motivations for taking part in the programme aren’t purely altruistic — we also benefit. You see, most of the prisoners we have hired have been very hard workers.

“Prisoners are hard workers?” you say with a sceptical look on your face. Yes, in most cases they are.

Before getting involved, we experienced problems with staff not turning up to work. After all, sorting waste for recycling isn’t the most glamorous of occupations.

But, the prisoners who qualify for Release to Work have proven they want to turn their lives around. They are grateful for being given a second chance and, as a result, work extremely hard and are loyal.

What do they do?

Currently, we hire five workers from the programme: one is still in prison (he gets dropped off and picked up by Spring Hill Prison every day), and the other four we rehired at the end of their sentences. Their jobs involve sorting waste and operating machinery, such as fork-hoists and diggers, at our recycling plant.

Though it’s fair to say we were a little nervous about hiring prisoners at the beginning, we haven’t had any real issues. So, if you’re struggling to find keen workers for your business, give Work to Release some thought. It could be worth your while.

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