Job training reduces prison returns: study

Prisoners who undergo jobs training double their chance of staying out of prison within five years.
Prisoners who undergo jobs training double their chance of staying out of prison within five years.

Prisoners who get vocational education and training double their chances of remaining offence-free within five years of release, a study has found.

More than 10,000 prisoners in NSW, ACT, Northern Territory and South Australia were part of a joint study by five universities.

While a person had undergone jobs training was twice as likely not to reoffend as someone who didn't, the study also found it's not a one-size-fits-all solution.

"While overall vocational education training reduces the likelihood of the return to custody, the type and appropriateness of the training have a big impact on the result," UNSW criminology lecturer Jesse Cale says.

He says prisoners need to be assessed and programs based on individual needs, interests and strengths.

The job market for freed prisoners was also a factor, with Dr Cale noting education had to be appropriate for a job they could walk into.

Australian Associated Press