16 November 2021
[FYI request #16997 email]
Tēnā koe Nicolas
Thank you for your email of 1 October 2021 to the Department of Corrections – Ara
Poutama Aotearoa (Corrections), requesting the following information:
Please provide me with the total number of instances of prisoners being
released to work outside of prison per week, since January 1, 2019. Please
break this down by prison. Please give me this information in an excel
How much money has been paid to prisoners on release to work as a part of
the government’s Covid-19 wage subsidy scheme?
Your request has been considered under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA).
As you aware, your request for, ‘How much money has been paid to prisoners on
release to work as a part of the government’s Covid-19 wage subsidy scheme’
transferred to the Ministry of Social Development on 14 October 2021, under section
14 of the OIA.
Employment and industry training, including our Release to Work (RtW) programme,
are hugely beneficial avenues for people in prison to gain real work experience and
employment skills, making it easier for them to find work on release. Having a job
means someone is able to provide for themselves and their family, connect with pro-
social support and it gives them a sense of pride.
The RtW programme allows minimum security prisons, who are assessed as
suitable, to engage in paid employment in the community where they can gain
experience, employment skills and job stability to support them into work on release.
People employed on RtW are paid at a full market rate determined by their employer,
and have previously taken part in unit and prison-based activities and education to
ensure they are well-prepared for community-based employment and that the public
In addition to the training and employment opportunities in prison, we operate our
own recruitment service where specialised consultants help place people into jobs in
preparation for their release from prison, or while they are serving a community
NATIONAL OFFICE, WELLINGTON
Mayfair House, 44 – 52 The Terrace, Wellington, 6011, Private Box 1206, Wellington 6140, Phone
+64 4 460 3000
We also have employment support service, which includes a more intensive support
package for people in prison due for release and for people on community
sentences. This includes case management and six months of in-work support, in
addition to job placement.
Appendix One provides a breakdown of the total number of people released through
RtW from 1 January 2019 to 1 October 2021, broken down by week and prison.
When interpreting the data, RtW activities are suspended during COVID-19 Alert
Levels 4 and 3.
Please note that this response may be published on Corrections’ website. Typically,
responses are published quarterly, or as otherwise determined. Your personal
information including name and contact details will be removed for publication.
I encourage you to raise any concerns about this response with Corrections.
Alternatively, you are advised of your right to also raise any concerns with the Office
of the Ombudsman. Contact details are: Office of the Ombudsman, PO Box 10152,