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Vocational Training and Employment

The ICPA recognises that one of the most effective tools to reduce re-offending post-release is paid employment. Vocational Training and Employment activities should be integrated into sentence management, be continuous and be used to equip and prepare prisoners to be productive and self-sufficient members of society upon release. Prison administrations and other organisations involved with prisoner management should work collaboratively to ensure that:

  • Vocational training is available to sentenced prisoners and as practical, to prisoners on remand.
  • An assessment should be conducted to determine the prisoner’s employment history, educational experience and aspirations. Depending on the assessed vocational training needs a personalised plan for learning and development should be developed.
  • Accredited vocational training that is integrated with employment initiatives should be offered on a voluntary basis.
  • Directly or through industry partnerships, vocational training opportunities are provided that align with labour market trends and incorporate industry recognised credentials and job readiness training leading to job opportunities.
  • Vocational training and prison employment should lead to employment opportunities upon release.
  • The provision addresses literacy and numeracy skills needs and addresses the diversity and interests of prisoners to maximise re-entry success.
  • Learning resources are made available at education and training facilities in classrooms, libraries, and where practical access to computer labs or in-cell technology.
  • Pre-release transition plans with referrals to job placement services are available to prisoners nearing the end of their incarceration.
  • To the extent possible, program results and their impact on recidivism rates are tracked and reported based upon the level and type of training and amount of programming provided, as well as employment secured or further training received post-release.
  • To the extent possible, corrections industries employment is in accordance with human rights obligations and is remunerated appropriately
  • Post release employment and training support is available for prisoner release preparation as much as that is practical to reduce re-offending.
  • Initiatives be supported that provide incentives to businesses to employ prisoners upon release and as much as practical remove barriers for people with criminal records.
  • There is recognition that obtaining employment post-release might be challenging for exoffenders. Careers information, advice and guidance should be given to support the development of realistic expectations about post-release employment. Programs should be available that give prisoners the skills and coping mechanisms to deal with potential unemployment post-release.
  • Where possible, opportunities to directly connect prisoners with employers and external supports prior to release should be maximised. This aims to reduce prisoners’ inactive time immediately after release when the risk of re-offending is highest.

This founding statement of ICPA was approved by the ICPA Board on 7th March 2018 and ratified by the members of the Corporation on the Annual General Meeting Montreal 23 October 2018.


Image: Singapore Prison Service