Inmates on a Rolleston Prison release to work scheme were employed by a Kaiapoi business, two days before five existing workers were laid off. We asked what people thought of labourers losing jobs to prisoners.
Caroline Elson, 40, customer services manager, of Hornby, said there were two sides to the issue.
"At the end of the day its not fair on the labourers, but prisoners need to be integrated into the workplace.
"I don't think the inmates should have priority, though."
Sharon Jukes, 49, territory manager, of Cashmere said it's not fair if it's at the expense of permanent workers.
" Citizens inside the four walls should not be given priority over those who are outside of the four walls."
Daniel Fry, 25, salesperson, city centre.
"I see the point but I don't think anyone should lose their jobs so that prisoners can be employed."
Andy Edwards, 58, pastor, of Rangiora.
"It all depends on how it was processed and handled by senior management.
"If they were aware it was the same jobs that that doesn't seem fair.
"But using prisoners in the workplace is positive."
Stephanie Crofts, 70s, semi-retired, of Cashmere.
"It seems unfair in that situation for people to lose their jobs."
Penny Hallowes, 59, retired, of Darfield, said it appears on the surface to be unfair.
"It's good to get inmates out working but not at the expense of other people's jobs."
Claudia Anderson, 18, job seeker, of Cashmere, said it doesn't seem right.
"I think is okay for prisoners to go out and get work but they shouldn't be taking jobs off people already working."