Prisoners work 100,000 hours for pensioners, disabled


Sir – Low-security prisoners have completed 108,760 hours of gardening and maintenance works at the homes of eligible elderly and disabled Territorians and non-profit organisations in the 2012-13 financial year.
Prisoners participating in the Community Support Program visit the yards of 929 pensioners and disabled persons each month and perform various duties including cleaning, rubbish removal, mowing and raking.
There are six prisoner work parties operating from both Darwin and Alice Springs, and five operating in the Barkly region.
This program ensures that prisoners begin to pay back their debt to society with their labours. The service benefits those who are unable to perform these duties themselves, and offers peace of mind that a difficult chore of gardening is taken care of.
Inmates who participate in the work gangs also receive basic training in the use and routine maintenance of machinery and equipment.
The Country Liberal’s Government has put the focus on developing prisoners for employment once they are released from prison.
The Sentenced to a Job program puts prisoners to work and teaches them the necessary skills and work ethic to retain a job in the paid employment market.
This is about preparing prisoners for life outside of the prison, and providing them with a job and thereby a reason to not return to their prior offending behaviour.
The Sentenced to a Job Program aims to have prisoners become active and engaged members of the community who work, pay taxes and stay away from a life of crime.
Inmates visit yards in groups of up to ten and are accompanied by a prison officer.
Prisoner work crews also perform one off yard cleaning and mowing for seriously ill and palliative care patients at short notice.
John Elferink
Minister for Correctional Services (pictured)


  1. John, can we have a breakdown on that ie: I bet the majority of these workers are black (how stupid of me, they are by far the majority in NT prisons) and used just as they were many years ago when they provided the firewood for the good decent white folk out there in the Alice. I wonder what their debt to society was? Born black, I s’pose.


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