CATHOLIC businesses in and around the Ipswich and Goodna areas are being asked to help set up a support network for newly released prisoners.
Cameron Auld, one of four Catholic prison chaplains at the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre at Wacol, west of Brisbane, has appealed for the support, saying most prisoners on their release left with nothing.
“Most of them have nowhere to stay, no finances and they are unemployed,” Mr Auld said.
“I’ve spoken very briefly with (the) Centacare Employment (Group) and Catholic Prison Ministry about trying to get something in place to maybe get some of the Catholic businesses together where we could try and get work organised for some of these guys.”
Mr Auld said the local community was already supporting a small network offering emergency and transitional accommodation.
“A lot of that has been through my local parish, St Francis Xavier, at Goodna, but we still need more,” he said.
Mr Auld said support such as accommodation and employment on release went a long way towards ensuring prisoners did not reoffend.
“I’ve found that if I can get these guys jobs – and there are other chaplains as well that are doing this …, but if we can find somehow to get these guys jobs we’ve had a lot of success stories,” he said.
Mr Auld said he was simply asking for employers to give released prisoners a chance.
“Centacare Employment (Group) and Catholic Prison Ministry handles a lot of these. All I’m trying to do is making the public more aware that these guys can go to these organisations for help but even if it’s only a couple of weeks’ employment right up to permanent employment, the guys need some assistance outside – they need some help.”
Mr Auld said any work was helpful.
He said any businesses, particularly in the Ipswich and western Brisbane area, willing to be involved with such a network or who could offer any kind of work could contact the Catholic Prison Ministry on 3846 7577 or Centacare Employment Group on 3336 9246.