The men and women of Cessnock Correction Centre are among almost 25,000 frontline correctional staff to be celebrated today as part of Australia’s first annual National Corrections Day.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC said the day is vital to acknowledging the work of custodial and Community Corrections officers who keep the community safe in often dangerous situations.
“These officers are our friends, family and neighbours and yet we often know little about the exceptional challenges they face when they go to work each day,” Mr MacDonald said.
“Whether they’re working in our community or one of our prisons, their unwavering dedication to helping rehabilitate offenders and keeping us safe shouldn’t go unnoticed.”
Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW) has hired more than 2,000 correctional officers in the past seven years, with an additional 379 Community Corrections and custodial officers employed in 2017.
CSNSW Commissioner Peter Severin said the day was about recognising the important contribution correctional officers make every day.
“Today we pause to formally acknowledge the efforts of our frontline staff and thank them for the exceptional job they do in keeping our prisons and communities safe and secure,” Commissioner Severin said.
The initiative was launched by CSNSW last year, before being adopted as a national day due to overwhelming success and interest from other states and territories and even New Zealand.
NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman said the day was about showing gratitude to correctional staff for the important work they do.
“I’d like to acknowledge and thank our correctional officers for their ongoing dedication and commitment to protecting the community, rehabilitating inmates and working towards reducing reoffending,” Mr Speakman said.
CSNSW employs more than 8,000 staff including 5,140 custodial officers, services and programs staff and psychologists as well as nearly 500 overseers at the 36 correctional centres across the state. Almost 1,400 community corrections officers are employed at the 66 community corrections offices and seven satellite offices in NSW.