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Supporting Offenders into Employment – Evaluation report (first six months)

Supporting Offenders into Employment is an MSD and Department of Corrections initiative trialling services to support people transitioning from prison into sustainable employment.

The initiative includes early engagement while a person is still in prison, on-going support after their release and contact up to a year after entering employment.

Three types of services were trialled:

  • Intensive reintegration approach – externally contracted service through Salvation Army’s ‘Making Life Work’ programme.
  • multi-disciplinary team approach – externally contracted service through Workwise’s ‘Working Together Canterbury’ programme.
  • MSD intensive case management service – delivered in five North Island MSD service centres.

The MSD service began in October 2016 and the externally contracted services in November 2016. The trial is due to run until June 2020.

This evaluation identified what worked well and not so well from an operational point-of-view and how the service supported people released from prison into employment.

Key findings

Findings for the first six months of the trial showed:

  • A strong commitment by those working with the service to the service’s values and to building solid relationships.
  • Relationship building was key to success with participants, especially engagement before a person left prison.
  • Participants reported receiving assistance to navigate barriers to reintegration in the community, including assistance with access to Work and Income, meeting Corrections obligations, securing housing, and help to access support services they need.

The trial continues to be evaluated. An evaluation with a kaupapa Māori approach will identify principles or tikanga that can support best outcomes for participants in the service

For enquiries about this research please email research@msd.govt.nz.