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Raising the bars of a new prison career

Publication date: Friday 17 August 2018

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A former teacher’s aide and a railway worker are among the latest officers to join Corrective Services NSW as part of a major recruitment blitz to improve the state’s prison system and reduce reoffending.

The group of 19 graduated at a ceremony at Wellington Correctional Complex, in the state’s Central West, today after 10 weeks of intensive training.

Minister for Corrections David Elliott said new recruits were needed as part of a prison expansion program and investment in reducing reoffending.

“It is one of the largest recruitment drives in the department’s history,” Mr Elliott said.

“That means more custodial officers on the ground, more psychologists, more Community Corrections officers and more training staff among other roles.

“They all have the same goal of reducing reoffending to ensure a safer environment both in the prison and out there in the community.”

Additionally, new construction jobs are being created through the $3.8 billion Prison Bed Capacity Program.

There will be expansions of facilities in Bathurst, Cessnock, South Windsor, Kempsey, Nowra and the privately-run Parklea and Junee correctional centres as well as a new 1,700 bed prison at Grafton.

More recruits will be graduating at Wellington, Cessnock and at CSNSW Brush Farm Academy in Sydney later this year.

Acting Assistant Commissioner for Governance and Continuous Improvement Kim Blinkhorn said world-class operational training is provided to our recruits to ensure they can confidently step into their new roles.

“Our rigorous training program ensures our officers can meet the challenges of supervising and interacting with inmates, while continuing to make an enormous contribution to the safety of the NSW community,” Ms Blinkhorn said.

“Today’s new recruits come from a variety of backgrounds and prior employments including a hotel manager, railway worker, industrial chemist and teacher’s aide which adds diversity to our expanding organisation.

“In the past, we have had international delegations and graduates from interstate attend our training programs, which are a testament to the quality of training we provide.”

The officers will work at a number of correctional centres across the state.