Australian Social Programs Help Ex-offenders Get a Job

Jobs Change Lives! Every individual has the capacity to be given another chance, with employment being key in the rehabilitation process.

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Advance2Work is one of leading program in Queensland to support ex-offenders if and when they move into employment.

A big amount of prisoners have participated in Advance2Work program and have been given help. The program provides job preparation, career planning services for prisoners before release, job-search training and employment support for prisoners after release. Each ex-offender is given a ‘total assessment’ when registering in the program’s system, because they need provide both specifically mental and physical information and then can get an appropriate plan.

“The majority of prisoners coming into prison have, usually, low education, very poor health, poor diet, no exercise, drug and alcohol addiction, mental health issues,” QCS offender programs and services executive director, Di Taylor said, “We usually concentrate on their health, get their teeth fixed. Most of the time it’s the first time they’ve picked up that they’ve got a mental health issue of some sort. It could be low levels of depression. So we work on that.”

Advance2Work program found the rate of recidivism has been reduced by 7% among participated prisoners. And also a lot of ex-offender have already got a job after release. Some employers are quite willing work with the program and can provide positions to ex-offenders, such as truck driver or furniture mover.

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WISE is a non-profit employment agency, founded in West Melbourne in 1992. It provides employment services under the Australian Government’s Disability Employment Services (DES) and jobactive programs. Its mission is inspiring people to realise their potential and achieve fulfilling vocational goals and help them fit back into normal life through employment.

Since 2001, WISE Employment has invested $3.5 million of raised funds into innovative project to support people with disability, mental illness, youth, ex-offenders, refugees and Indigenous communities. WISE Employment also operates three socially-inclusive social enterprises, employing 200 people.

-Xinru Liu

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