From having a go at a barista course to sign writing, criminal offenders are being supervised in the Maitland community so they have a better chance to adapt to life beyond prison walls.
A group of 16 mostly male offenders – on supervised parole and other community-based orders – are involved in the Pathways to Education, Employment and Training (PEET) program where they learn a variety of skills in partnership with Hunter TAFE. Maitland Community Corrections manager Daniel Wilson said the program, which has run for the past three years, showed offenders there was life after custody.
“We target areas where there are skill shortages in the Hunter such as in barista and sign writing work, and give the participants realistic goals,” Mr Wilson said.
“A lot of people struggle to find employment post-release and are not contributing to society. We’re helping them get on the right path by linking them to work according to their interests and backgrounds.” Other skill sets that participants can be equipped with include catering, painting and decorating.