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Prison Industries

The South Australian Department for Correctional Services (DCS) has a dual role – to protect the community through the safe and humane containment of offenders, and to provide rehabilitation opportunities to help offenders get their lives back on track.

There are currently close to 2000 prisoners in South Australia. Of these approximately 40 per cent were unemployed at the time of their arrest. About 32 per cent had an education level of grade 10 or below.

One of the key roles of Prison Industries is to provide education and on-the-job training to give offenders the skills for real jobs once they leave prison.

Key Aims of Prison Industries

  • Contribute to the security, safety and humanity of corrections by providing meaningful work for offenders.
  • Advance the economic good order of Correctional Services through managing cost-effective operations based on a rigorous culture of commercial intensity.
  • Equip offenders with foundation employability skills to improve their prospects for employment upon release.

Building Skills

Prison Industries activities provide prisoners with:

  • Meaningful work opportunities that reflect community expectations.
  • Vocational education and training opportunities which help prisoners obtain post-release employment.
  • A 'constructive day' designed to reflect community life and promote a work ethic.

Prison Industries is a commercial undertaking that includes:

  • textile work and production
  • welding and fabrication
  • powder coating
  • furniture manufacture
  • component assembly
  • commercial laundry
  • market gardening
  • citrus & olive growing
  • dairy
  • bakery
  • concrete product manufacture.

Prison Industies operates in all seven of South Australia’s government run prisons:

All Prison Industries sites in South Australia have gained accreditation to ISO 9001:2008 for their quality management systems with selected sites gaining ISO 4801: 2001 for their occupational health, safety & welfare system. Additionally our catering & baking operations are HACCP certified.

Skills and Training

Vocational Education and Training (VET) programs
Prison Industries provide vocational training to prisoners through on the job practical training. Training is delivered by staff that have gained accreditation as workplace trainers and assessors (TAA), this helps prisoners to develop work skills and behaviour; and to gain formal recognised training under the Australian Qualifications Framework.

The program operates at all DCS Prison Industries locations

Prison Industries Business Partnerships

DCS places a high priority in ensuring Prison Industries will benefit local industry and the South Australian economy.

As an example, Prison Industries seeks to enter into business partnerships with organisations such as:

  • Local Governments
  • Not for profit organisations
  • Schools
  • Companies currently relying on import products as their major source of  business
  • Government instrumentalities.

The major emphasis of Prisoner Industries is on the production of goods for export and to provide a replacement for imported goods, or to help markets meet excess demand for certain products.

Markets in which Prison Industries has a traditional or historical presence include:

  • Internal markets geared towards self sufficiency
  • Enhancement of the capability of local industry by working in association with private sector organisations 
  • Import replacement opportunities and opportunities to assist your business  in times of cyclic demand.

Consideration is also given to emerging and developing industries so that the work experience gained by prisoners places them in demand on their release.

When you enter into a business partnership with Prison Industries we require that our Prison Industries Contractual Agreement (below) be signed by both parties. This agreement sets out the terms and conditions that both parties agree to for the life of the partnership.

 Prison Industries Contractual Agreement

What Prison Industries won't do

Prison Industries is committed to operating as a “good corporate citizen” and will therefore not undertake partnerships where:

  • There is likely to be competition from a local market
  • Job losses may occur that effect the local economy
  • Companies experiencing hardship or financial difficulties are looking to be “propped up”