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Parklea welcomes final graduates for the year

Parklea Correctional Centre has today welcomed 22 new officers at the final swearing-in ceremony for 2022.

Parklea Governor Paul Baker said he was pleased to swear in the third group of trainee officers this year and witness their pledge to keep the community safe and help reduce reoffending.

“For many of our graduates, today marks the fulfilment of a long-held dream to become a correctional officer, while for others it signals a new career in a totally different industry,” Mr Baker said.

“Our officers come from all walks of life, from varying fields, different age groups, and many different cultural backgrounds and that’s what makes Parklea strong and unique.

“This diversity enables us to work with inmates from similar backgrounds in what is often a challenging and dynamic environment.

“Our new officers now have the opportunity to embark on a rewarding career, make a difference through our decency and respect principles and help reduce reoffending.”

The new officers range in age from 20 to 59 and have diverse cultural backgrounds and employment histories.

“Our Initial Training Course 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 the Parklea family and I look forward to working with them.”

Minister for Corrections Geoff Lee said correctional officers were the quiet achievers of the frontline, providing an essential service for the community behind prison walls.

“Today’s graduates join the more than 10,000 men and women who work in correctional facilities and community corrections across the state and I’m pleased to welcome them into the justice sector,” 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.

“While less visible than staff in other uniformed service roles, their work is no less important, and they should receive just as much recognition for keeping our citizens safe and reduce reoffending.

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

To become trainee officers, the graduates completed 10 weeks of rigorous training.

Subjects studied include 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.

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

This is the eleventh graduating class since MTC began operating Parklea Correctional Centre on behalf of Corrective Services NSW in 2019. Recruitment for more new officers will begin in early 2023.