The program, initiated in 2009, was entitled ‘Prisoner Employment Program’. …

Comment on Do you lose more than freedom when you are sent to gaol? by Phil Walcott.

The program, initiated in 2009, was entitled ‘Prisoner Employment Program’. That’s different to the work release program where ‘green shirts’ are on day release to perform community support jobs like grass cutting and assisting with erecting community group infrastructure (like Henley-On-Todd Regatta).
The program initiated the policy roll out of the prisoners contributing to their incarceration costs (food, housing etc.) Yes, the world is watching … so I’m glad the system is embracing these changes.

Phil Walcott Also Commented

Do you lose more than freedom when you are sent to gaol?
I remind you, Erwin and the said Minister, that the “sentenced to a job” initiative was one of the FORMER NT Labor government.
I was working with pre then post custodial prisoners who were working on a weekday daily basis, paying “board lodgings” from their earnings and the levy from 30th July 2009.
This was more than three years PRIOR to the 2012 NT Legislative Election. Credit where credit is due!
Whilst the incumbent Minister is to be congratulated for his ongoing support and expansion of this program, it was NOT the CLP that introduced it.
If you need clarification, check with Delia Lawrie and Gerry McCarthy. To constantly report that this program is an initiative of the CLP is misleading and incorrect.

JOHN ELFERINK responds: What [Labor] had was a simple work release program that saw a hand full of prisoners engage in work release. Work release programs have been around for decades. The Labor Party on the basis of this have now been peddling the falsehood this this was all their idea in the first place.
The fact is if this was anything more than that they would have had the whole system up and running years ago. In short they didn’t. If they were onto it in 2009 then what did they do for three years?
The idea of making work the central component (not just a work program) of the corrections system is down to the new government. The world is watching what we’re doing and I’m proud of the enormous strides we have made in a single year.

Recent Comments by Phil Walcott

Gallery: The Gunner spin goes on
Pretty obvious this is a blatant political move by the Feds. They back their own team in SA to the detriment of the opposition team in the NT.

Senator Scullion will not contest Federal election
Just throwing a conversation starter into the mix, Sharpie.

Senator Scullion will not contest Federal election
Let’s see where this goes. If Jacinta loses Lingiari, she’ll be parachuted into the role. If she doesn’t, will The Elf make a comeback?

Starting young in multi-culturalism
Such an impressive program driven by devotion, compassion and integrity.
We most certainly are a rich tapestry of collective and inclusive community spirit as evidenced by the wonderful interactions that these kids embraced.
Congratulations to Suzanne and her team for providing these kids with some wonderful experiences. The stuff memories are of.

NT should become the Switzerland of the Southern Hemisphere
I can relate to your frustrations, Kelvin. Thanks for your insights and perceptions. From a personal position, I concur with your views regarding Delia Lawrie.
YES … unfortunately the lacklustre leadership from a number of the parliamentary and bureaucratic circles fail to project any long-term vision beyond election cycles into our Territory’s future. Devising plans isn’t enough. We need visions to underpin them. Singapore and China had visions … and look where they are now. They made “boundless possible” a reality rather than simply a mantra.
We can only hope that there are enough people within those ranks, and those from the commercial and industrial sectors, who are prepared to look at ways that we can collectively enhance the Northern Territory’s present and future.
We have the people, we have the capacity. Now all we need is the will to realise some remarkable opportunities.

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