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News

Jobs for Prisoners

[Hungary]

On the Agenda

Working with prisoners to offer them a brighter future.

Prisoners as Seasonal Workers

It was not by chance that the employees at the Bekescsaba site came up with the idea of offering prisoners jobs. As is the case for many great ideas, it was a solution to a problem. Around the same time each year, during the busy season, the site finds itself in need of workers, as most people prefer year-round employment. Meanwhile, some prisoners would like a chance to reform and work so that they can rejoin society more easily, and they are available for temporary work! The solution to the problem was obvious: hire prisoners for the season☺

Small Steps for a Brighter Tomorrow

Of course, it's not the most hardened criminals who are hired to package peas! The program is offered to prisoners who have committed minor, non-violent offenses.

They are only allowed to work in positions that do not involve leaving the plant, so they are assigned to the packaging assembly lines and driving forklifts. A perfect fit! They like the work, as evidenced by the fact that many of the prisoners have said they would like to come back for seasonal positions at the plant after their release.

A Win-Win Initiative

By solving both the plant's and the prisoners’ problems in one fell swoop, everyone gets to achieve their goals, making this a productive initiative that yields social and economic benefits for everyone involved. The Bonduelle plant is the first of its size to establish this type of program with a prison in Hungary, and it may inspire others to follow suit.

More broadly, the project is good for the community as a whole: the prisoners have better job prospects when they leave, they are supervised, and by becoming part of the life of the community they are overcoming stereotypes.

Rehabilitation Starts before Release

 

We know that while prison can help some turn their lives around, it can also produce hardened criminals and reinforce antisocial behaviors. The chance to rejoin society after being released helps prevent recidivism, and a steady job helps enormously. So, a community can do a lot to help prisoners rejoin society, even while they are still incarcerated, through training, visits, off-site jobs and more.

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