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​Ex-army corporal joins Brewarrina prison to drive down reoffending

Publication date: Thursday 19 July 2018

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A former Australian Army corporal has joined the team at Brewarrina’s correctional centre to help drive down reoffending rates.

Senior Case Management Officer Ben Haime

Senior Case Management Officer Ben Haime will work between the Yetta Dhinnakkal Correctional Centre northeast of Broken Hill and Macquarie Correctional Centre in Wellington, as part of a new Custodial Case Management program, which has employed about 150 experienced staff across NSW.

Mr Haime said the new program is focused on individual case plans for sentenced inmates most at risk of reoffending, to help them transition into the community.

“It is my role to work with inmates to address their risks, needs and attitudes toward their previous offending behaviours,” Mr Haime said.

“My centre prides itself on providing positive education, vocational training and cultural awareness which motivates, encourages and guides them to a positive future.

“I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of working with these young offenders and note the humbling nature of being entrusted with their experiences and stories and likewise the faith and trust they put in my ability to work for them.”

Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin said the new programs were being rolled out to all correctional centres across the state, as part of a record $330 million NSW Government strategy to reduce the rate of reoffending.

"We are committed to driving down the rate of reoffending and these newly created positions form part of a clear plan to address that,” Mr Severin said.

“The improved model provides a more consistent approach to case managing offenders throughout their contact with the correctional system, particularly in cases where they cycle between community supervision and custody.

“Most importantly, every contact with an offender will be focused on reducing their reoffending risk.”

Almost 20,000 inmates are expected to benefit from the new case management approach over the next three years, which will support a reduction in the state’s reoffending rate.

Brewarrina’s minimum-security centre houses up to 30 young adult Aboriginal men who have the opportunity to gain qualifications and experience in agriculture, conservation, land management, and construction.