Ep 9 - Corrections Officer
Job title: Corrections Officer
Corrections Officers are employed at 19 prison facilities. The role of a Corrections Officer is no longer just about custodial duties; Corrections Officers also play an active part in offenders’ rehabilitation making a very real contribution to Prison Services' goal to reduce re-offending.
The key roles for Corrections Officers are:
- To maintain security within the prison
- To support the work undertaken in offender rehabilitation programmes by influencing and motivating offenders to make positive changes.
Corrections Officers come from all walks of life. No formal qualifications are required. What is important is to possess a high degree of personal responsibility, a mature outlook on life, common sense, a caring attitude, the ability and willingness to be a team player, be honest and have integrity. Above all, Corrections Officers are a professional, and take pride in their role and appreciates the importance of prison safety and security, while treating prisoners fairly and consistently.
When you first start a custodial career as a Corrections Officer you will undergo a comprehensive eight week training course. This course is designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge you will need to work safely in a prison environment. Six weeks of initial residential training is undertaken at the Corrections staff college, Trentham,Wellington.
After initial training Corrections Officers are encouraged to undertake further training which leads to externally recognised qualifications. These qualifications form one of the preferred selection criteria for promotion to more senior roles.
There are opportunities for promotion for custodial staff. On the custodial side there are Senior Corrections Officers, Principal Corrections Officers and Residential Managers roles if you are looking for that next step up. There are also lots of specialist roles – in Training, Sentence Planning, Crime Prevention, Quality Assurance, Drug Dog Handling.
The starting salary is $44,936. Staff progress through competency based steps to the top level salary of $55,347. Progression beyond this comes with promotion to Senior Corrections Officer and beyond.
Additional benefits include:
- a focus and emphasis on professional support and training and development for frontline staff.
- opportunities for secondment, special projects, and head office work.
- the chance to work for an organisation that is recognised as forward-thinking and innovative on the international Corrections stage (New Zealandis respected internationally and provides guidance and advice to other countries in terms of correctional issues and initiatives)
- Corrections staff also have access to some special banking and insurance discounts and can participate in KiwiSaver.
- KiwiSaver is a voluntary savings scheme open to all New Zealanders that aims to increase saving through encouraging a long-term saving habit and asset accumulation. More information about KiwiSaver is provided to successful applicants on appointment or go to www.kiwisaver.govt.nz for more information.
How to increase the chances of successfully entering this industry
The best Corrections Officers have strong communication and relationship building skills, a mature outlook on life, common sense and high levels of integrity, ethics and resilience.
They also need;
- a driving licence that enables you to drive manual and automatic cars inNew Zealand.
- a currentNew Zealand first aid certificate.
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Other relevant points
All candidates are required to complete a full disclosure criminal history check and pre-employment medical and physical and drug tests.
Having a criminal conviction will not necessarily preclude you from being offered employment. It depends on the position applied for and the offences that might be on your criminal record. Your criminal conviction record will be reviewed against our policy to assess your suitability for employment with the Department.