Smooth transitions

Smooth transitions

Alcoa Australia neighbourly relations member Vicki Race, prisoner Marcello and Alcoa admin assistant Olivia Eddy talking at the Inside Out expo. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

Karnet Prison Farm in Serpentine held its Inside Out expo last Friday giving prisoners up for parole or due to be released a chance to network and smoothly transition back into the community.

More than 15 organisations attended the expo including Centrecare, the Men’s Shed, Alcoholics Anonymous, Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and Alcoa Australia.

The expo was an opportunity for prisoners to talk to future employers, showcase their skills set, learn new skills, ask questions about employment opportunities and better prepare themselves when they are released.

Prisoner Marcello who spoke with Alcoa Australia’s neighbour relations member Vicki Race and admin assistant Olivia Eddy said they did a good job speaking to him.

“I learnt a lot from them,” he said.

“I told them a bit about myself and the skills I have and they told me about some opportunities available in the mining sector.”

Marcello said he was due for release in a few months after serving a two and a half year sentence.

He said the expo was a great idea and offered a chance for prisoners to plan for their future.

Ms Race said Alcoa ran a six-week traineeship, which allowed successful prisoners to be part of a team and gain work experience.

“We support Karnet with their expo,” she said.

“It is great to be able to give the prisoners a chance to transition back into the community with a set of skills and experience.”

Prisoner employment manager Larry Smith said the expo was important to everyone.

“We are a rehabilitation prison,” he said.

“The Inside Out expo is very important.

“It allows the prisoners to gain the skills they need for employment and this in turn helps make them good citizens and members of the community.”

Mr Smith said the expo helped prisoners as they prepared to transition from prison life and back into the community.