Meet Maryborough's ground-breaking prison officers
THE first class of new Maryborough prison officers trained in the Heritage City celebrated not one but two milestones yesterday.
The 15 custodial correctional officer graduates are also the first to start work in regional Queensland after the announcement of the new Corrections 2030 10-year game plan.
In a ceremony held at the Maryborough RSL today, Queensland Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Martin said training in Maryborough had helped with officer retention.
"To recruit people who know the local community, live in the local community and are prepared to support the local community is a wonderful thing," he said.
"Those 15 correctional officers, they live and work in the region and contribute to the local economy of Maryborough.
"Corrections 2030 is the only long-term strategic plan for any correctional organisation anywhere in Australia, it charts a new course for the organisation particularly around safety, excellence, empowerment, accountability and respect. All of these are the hallmarks of a modern 21st century correctional department."
Comm Martin said having local workers on the job helped re-shape public opinion of prison officers.
"The work we do is critically important to the safety and security of 9000 prisoners in Queensland but it is also about the issues of re-offending," he said.
"Every correctional officer has a role to prevent re-offending, which makes the community safe."
Comm Martin said he was proud to watch the new recruits take the oath to keep the community safe through the humane containment and rehabilitation of prisoners.
The graduation ceremony came after a nine-week course, which Comm Martin said placed "great emphasis on safety, including situational awareness and communication, and de-escalation techniques".
During the ceremony, one Maryborough Correctional Centre officer received the QCS Commissioner Award for her work during the Queensland floods.
Four officers received the Australian National Medal for 15 Years Diligent Service and five officers received the QCS Long Service Medal for 15 Years Long and Meritorious Service.
Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said after years of campaigning, he was proud to have worked with the commissioner and the minister to deliver correctional officer training in Maryborough.
"While community safety is a priority for the government, so too is delivering jobs in the local community," he said.
"MCC plays a very important role achieving this in the region. It is a huge economic bonus for Maryborough."