Employment is an important element of successful integration within one’s community. Across Australia, nearly two-thirds of prisoners were unemployed when they committed the crimes for which they were incarcerated. For Indigenous and non-Indigenous ex-prisoners alike, there are numerous benefits associated with employment. They include benefits related to the individual (for example, increased earning capacity, improved prospects for sustained employment, increased social contact, improved self-esteem and confidence, improved financial conditions, and less idle time) and to their family (for example, greater self-sufficiency, better lifestyle, provision of financial assistance to family networks), as well as wider system benefits, including reduced likelihood of reoffending and reimprisonment.
This resource sheet discusses the issues surrounding employment of Indigenous ex-prisoners, existing support programs, and strategies to employ more ex-prisoners after their release from correctional institutions.