Offenders give back on projects

16:00, Dec 08 2013

Offenders in Southland and Otago have contributed almost 100,000 hours of community work since July.

Southern region Community Probation operations manager Nick Scott said offenders in Southland had worked 49,960 hours since July and offenders in Otago, which includes Dunedin, had worked 48,352 hours.

Community work offenders have contributed almost 8000 hours of unpaid work this year to the Southland District Council through various community work projects.

Some of the work included wetlands planting at Colac Bay Marae, maintenance and track development for Georgetown Scouts, working with South Alive on the revitalisation of public areas in South Invercargill and extensive ongoing planting for the Otautau Arboretum.

Community work offenders have also worked on the Dolamore Park restoration in Gore and developing a walking/ cycling trail for Wakatipu Trails Trust.

Offenders across the South Island had clocked up 223,556 hours in the second half of the year, which contributed towards the national total of more than one million hours.

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The work was often for non-profit groups or organisations.

Corrections southern regional commissioner Ian Bourke said community work gave offenders the opportunity to do something good for the community.

"They can also gain valuable skills and job experience which can help with gaining employment.

"Reducing re-offending is Corrections' top priority, and research shows that getting a sustainable job can reduce the likelihood of re-offending and help create safer communities."

The Southland Times