- Showing 1 posts filed under: Correspondent:Lynette Parker [–], Offender [–] published between Jan 01, 2010 and Jan 31, 2010 [Show all]
Prisoners and Community Members Working Together?
In looking through my Twitter account, I read the line “Charity volunteers upset by prisoner work placement” with a link to a brief listing of newspaper articles. The dispute involved a charity shop where several elderly volunteers were told that the shop would be participating in a prison volunteer scheme bringing prisoners into to work alongside the volunteers. According to the article, they were to work with the prisoners or “be shown the door.” At the same time, the volunteers – some who had given years of service – expressed concerns about their personal safety.
As I read the article, I was of two minds. I see the value of having prisoners approaching release work in the community. This helps with the transition from the institutional environment to the challenges faced on the outside. It also provides a mechanism for those in prison to build pro-social relationships with community members. At the same time, I can understand the fear and hurt being expressed by the volunteers upon being informed of the scheme and not having a choice in the matter.