Corrections Minister visits Parklea for graduation

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Twenty-seven trainee correctional officers today made a commitment to keep the community safe and help reduce reoffending at a swearing-in ceremony at Parklea Correctional Centre.

Women continue to choose a career in corrections at Parklea, with 12 of the new officers being female.

Parklea Correctional Centre Governor Paul Baker said it was exciting to see new officers embark on a career in corrections after seeing them strive to complete 10 weeks of rigorous training.

“Our new trainees have achieved a significant personal goal to become correctional officers today, and I congratulate them on making it through the Initial Training Course,” Mr Baker said.

“A correctional officer is not like other jobs – it’s a challenging and dynamic environment where many inmates come from difficult backgrounds. But for those who want to make a difference, the rewards can be profound.

“Our mission at Parklea is to run a safe and secure prison, where inmates are treated with decency and respect. Our work aims to reduce reoffending and taking care of staff is our top priority.”

The new officers range in age from 22 to 56 and have diverse cultural backgrounds and employment histories, such as a personal trainer, disability support worker and property manager.

Trainees studied subjects such as legislation, policies and procedures, de-escalation and use of force tactics, mental health and general first aid. They also participated in simulated search and emergency response exercises and weapons training.

“Our training provides new recruits with the knowledge, skills and values they need to safely and professionally respond to a variety of situations and manage people with diverse needs,” Mr Baker said.

“I’m delighted to welcome our new officers into our ranks and I look forward to working with them at Parklea.”

Minister for Corrections Geoff Lee attended the ceremony and presented the top performing graduates with awards for collaboration, safety, decency, security, challenge, ingenuity and ‘The Parklea Way’.

“More than 10,000 men and women work in correctional facilities and community corrections across the state and I’m pleased to welcome these new graduates into the corrections family,” Mr Lee said.

“Corrections staff play an important role in helping inmates break the cycle of reoffending by providing them with various tools for rehabilitation, including employment, vocational training, personal development programs, education and other interventions.

“They are on the frontline day and night and deserve recognition for the important work they do behind prison walls to provide a brighter future for NSW by keeping our communities safe and reduce reoffending.

“I wish them a long and successful career in corrections and that their contribution makes a positive impact on inmates’ lives.”

Member for Riverstone Kevin Conolly welcomed the graduates to the area.

“Parklea Correctional Centre is a proud employer for our electorate and I’m thrilled to see these graduates embrace opportunities here and outside of work,” Mr Conolly said.

Trainees will complete 12-months on-the-job assessments to attain their Certificate III in Correctional Practice.

This is the tenth graduating class since MTC-Broadspectrum began operating Parklea Correctional Centre on behalf of Corrective Services NSW in 2019.  

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