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Almost six years after the end of 30 years of civil conflict, Sri Lanka is facing new challenges. While its economy is improving and population growing, there is also an increasing prison population.
It has turned to Corrective Services NSW for some help. A senior delegation from Sri Lanka's Department of Prisons has just spent nearly two weeks training at the Brush Farm Corrective Services Academy. The Sri Lanka Commissioner of Prisons was part of the group.
The training was co-ordinated by the Academy's International Programs Unit following interest from last year's Commissioner's International Scholarship Program open to the Asia-Pacific region. The training provided an opportunity to share experiences, best practice principles and expertise with the Sri Lanka officers.
Daniel Wong and Cheree Offner from the unit said the delegation was exposed to a wide range of prison management approaches in NSW. They also gained an insight into the safe and humane management of inmates..
The group visited the Parramatta Justice Precinct and the Parramatta Community Corrections Office. They also met staff working in head office and the Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre, Lithgow Correctional Centre and Long Bay's Metropolitan Special Programs Centre.
The delegation watched recruits training and participating in drills at the Academy and the Yasmar Juvenile Justice training facility. They also attended a dinner at the Academy hosted by Commissioner Peter Severin.
Assistant Commissioner James Koulouris, who attended a lunch with the delegation along with the CSNSW Executive, said the program allowed a good exchange of ideas. "Senior staff including General Manager Janet Ruecroft took time out of their busy schedules to host some of the training modules," Mr Koulouris said.
"It was an opportunity for CSNSW to share its approaches to managing high risk offenders and visitors bringing contraband into our centres as well as the security around prison escorts. CSNSW should be proud of its work which always draws strong interest from overseas."