Inmate-built housing to be sold to public
It's been 28 weeks in the making, and this month, a one-bedroom self-contained unit was lifted over the wire at Invercargill Prison and taken to the Southern Institute of Technology.
Fourteen prisoners built the unit as part of an SIT trades course.
The prisoners gained practical skills and about 40 credits towards their NZQA level 2 trade certificate in carpentry and painting and decorating.
Corrections offender employment principal adviser Garron Starr said research showed a strong link between employment and people remaining offence-free.
"Getting offenders into stable employment is a key to improving the lives of offenders, their families and therefore the whole community."
The building was lifted over the wire and transported back to SIT where it would get a few minor finishes and be sold to the public, he said.
The funds raised would pay for the materials and training and the department would then look at starting another building.
The Southland Times