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Updated at 7:46 pm on 8 February 2012
The Corrections Department is delighted with the support of employers in Hawke's Bay to give Maori inmates in a rehabilitation and re-integration unit, the opportunity of a job.
Te Whare Oranga Ake which is outside the wire of Hawke's Bay Regional prison, is the first unit of its kind in New Zealand.
It's designed to give selected Maori prisoners in the last part of their sentence, the skills to cope with life outside jail so they won't re-offend.
The Rehabilitation and Integration Manager, Alison Thom, says since the unit opened six months ago the department has worked hard with a Maori community provider, to find jobs for the inmates.
She says of the seven inmates currently in the unit all but one have a job, and the seventh is in the final phase of work preparation.
Ms Thom says it's a challenge to convince employers that inmates in the whare have been suitably prepared and have the necessary skills.
She says all the inmates with jobs are highly motivated and want to keep them when they leave prison.
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