A community-based organisation that works to prevent prisoners re-offending has secured employment for over 1,200 inmates.

The biennial report of the Irish Association for the Social Integration of Offenders also shows that another 2,200 were placed in training and education programmes, while it helped over 1,000 resettle after leaving prison.

The Association for the Social Integration of Offenders works with people released from prison and those at risk of breaking the law, offering them alternatives to offending and re-imprisonment.

The employment placements were secured for people between 2013 and 2014.

Of those the association worked with, more than a fifth - the largest category - were in prison for drugs offences, followed by those convicted of attempted murder and assault, burglars and robbers, as well as those convicted of homicide and sexual offences.

The association has said it aims to stabilise people once released from prison with the aim of reducing re-offending.

Chief Executive of the Irish Association for the Social Integration of Offenders Paddy Richardson has said it is important that those being released from prison get the chance to support themselves economically.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Richardson said it is difficult to get offenders jobs and there is huge resistance to it, but a lot of positives can come from it.

Mr Richardson said former inmates who engage with them mainly secure jobs in the construction and manufacturing sectors.

"Our training and employment officers are people on the ground who have to convince local employers that it is the best thing to do if you want to get somebody who has been highly motivated over the previous year that they have been engaging with us.

"They will have skills. And it's great for employers who do take people on and it's great for the community and it makes the community safer."

"What we do really is we put a context to the person, we personalise it. We bring that person's CV, their background, to an employer and we assure the employer that not only will they have somebody who is highly-integrated, but we will continue our services to support that employer in the event that any difficulties arise. And we find that the feedback we get form employers is extremely positive."

The Minister for Justice has said employers should give jobs to former prisoners because everybody deserves a second chance.

Frances Fitzgerald was speaking at the launch of the report in Dublin today.

The minister also said the programme does not suit all offenders and violent and dangerous criminals need to be in prison.