Issued: 20 February 2013[PDF, 24kb]
Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin today announced the final structure of the new Community Corrections Division, responsible for the supervision and management of offenders in the community.
Mr Severin said the existing Community Compliance and Monitoring Group and the Community Offender Services Group will soon merge to form the new Division.
"Corrective Services has consulted extensively with staff and the unions for several months to ensure our new business model maintains a priority focus on reducing reoffending and improving community safety," Mr Severin said.
"Our new model will adopt the best and most successful practices of both divisions and continue to deliver those services from a single, cohesive and vastly improved geographic footprint across NSW.
"I am very pleased with the outcome of consultation and am confident that our new approach will deliver results."
The merger does not mean business as usual across the State’s 60 Community Corrections offices – it means more stringent, consistent methods will be applied by staff everywhere.
All staff will work across a broader timeframe than at present, from Monday to Friday and on weekends when necessary, to provide improved supervision and case management of offenders. The 24/7 electronic monitoring of the highest risk offenders will continue and be enhanced.
All staff of the new Community Corrections Division will undergo further training to ensure every officer is fully equipped to perform their enhanced roles.
Corrective Services is confident that the majority of staff affected by the changes will be placed into positions within the agency or NSW Public Service, or alternatively be offered voluntary redundancies.
Mr Severin said Corrective Services NSW was also preparing to pilot latest generation saliva drug testing technology which would strengthen management of offenders in the community.
While the NSW Police Force is currently utilising saliva testing, the trial will determine its usefulness to Corrective Services in providing an immediate indication of drugs.
"If successful, the mouth swab testing would mean that Community Corrections Officers could use the equipment anywhere in the state, without the need for special facilities," Mr Severin said. "It may also overcome staff gender issues which sometimes arise with the current urinalysis testing."
Mr Severin said consultation would be held with staff, the State Parole Authority, Drug Courts and the union before any new drug testing process was adopted.
The Commissioner said the agency was positioned to take new strides in the safe and secure monitoring and management of offenders in the community.
"As Corrective Services NSW is the largest provider of community offender services in Australia, we must ensure that we adopt a best practice approach to achieve our goals ofreducing reoffending and enhancing community safety."
"I believe the changes to be implemented will achieve this."