Celebrating hard working corrections staff in Canberra

Shane Rattenbury, MLA

The ACT’s correctional officers and community corrections staff will be recognised today as part of Australia’s first annual National Corrections Day.

ACT Corrective Services (ACTCS) will host a Family Day at the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC) so staff can share with their relatives what a day as a correctional officer or community corrections officer is like.

Minister for Corrections Shane Rattenbury acknowledged the hard work of each correctional officer and community corrections staff to help keep Canberra safe.

“ACTCS is an integral part of the criminal justice system and it is challenging work helping those in our community who need rehabilitation and support to better integrate into our community,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“We have a dedicated workforce who assist clients to realise a productive and rewarding future from both inside the AMC and while in the community, whether engaged in our Extended Throughcare Program or as part of court ordered programs.

“At the AMC we have a strong focus on the delivery of rehabilitative, education and vocational programs to provide detainees with meaningful skills that promotes pro-social behaviour and resilience post-release.

“Community corrections staff help manage unsentenced offenders, supervise offenders on court orders and monitor compliance with court-imposed conditions. Their role has expanded to work more closely with clients to identify their risks of re-offending and encourage them to address their offending behaviour.

“I am pleased that National Corrections Day gives families a chance to gain a greater understanding of the important work of correctional officers and community correction officers do behind the scenes.”

The Corrections Day initiative was launched by Corrective Services NSW last year and has been adopted as a national focus this year.

ACTCS employs more than 270 correctional officers and community corrections staff. In the past five years more than 100 correctional officers have begun work at the AMC, with an additional 14 employed in 2016-17 financial year.

“Our last few recruitment campaigns have been extremely successful, and five of the 17 new corrections officers are women,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“We are also continuing to have strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce, with 24 employees who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. This is more than 5 per cent of the ACT Corrective Services workforce.

“Like any job, working in corrective services will have its challenges but officers’ efforts directly contribute to the well-being of the Canberra community, which can be a richly rewarding career.”