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​Long Bay inmates pave their way back into their community

Publication date: Monday 27 August 2018

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From paving a new brick path for a church to removing rubbish from our waterfront, a group of eight inmates from Long Bay Correctional Complex is helping their rehabilitation by participating in a variety of community projects across Sydney.

The offenders have been working on 14 separate projects in the past two months, clocking up 1,620 working-hours or about 3.5 hours each day for each inmate.

Long Bay Governor Pat Aboud said the Community Projects Team program provided an important opportunity for offenders to give back while learning job skills before their reintegration into the community.

"Since May last year, the team has provided 10,300 working-hours in the community," Mr Aboud said.

"The program, which has been running for two years, is available to minimum-security inmates who are carefully selected to participate and are supervised by our staff at all times.”

Long Bay Overseer Glen Brannock, who leads the program, said the inmates were able to assist not-for-profit and other organisations, which may not have the resources to upkeep their facilities.

"The organisations we help are always grateful for the assistance and at the same time, the offenders are learning new things and giving back to the public," Mr Brannock said.

“The paving project at St Matthew’s Anglican Church in the city’s inner-west in particular has been a good experience for the group as most had never participated in something similar before.

"The path turned out well, and now the church would like us to restore an old seat and plant some trees in the area.”

Other projects the Long Bay inmates have been involved in June and July include:

  • Laying carpet, tiles and skirtings for a new office at St Paul’s Anglican Church atCanterbury in Sydney’s inner-west;
  • Concreting at St Therese Catholic Church in Roseberry in Sydney’s inner south-east;
  • Painting at Maroubra Surf Life Saving Club in Sydney’s east;
  • Mulching, planting trees, clearing gutters, building a garden shed, general cleaningand other maintenance at local schools in Sydney’s east during weekends andschool holidays; and
  • Removing rubbish from mangroves and clearing bush at Towra Point Nature Reservein Kurnell in Sydney’s south.