Graduates step into new life at prisons
TRAVIS Harris was one of 21 recruits to graduate from the Corrective Services Academy in Bentley in the Town of Victoria Park last month.
The latest crop of recruits from the first 14 weeks of training in the nine-month course is part of an “unprecedented prison officer recruitment drive”, according to Corrective Services Minister Joe Francis.
Mr Harris, who has a background in the Australian Army Aviation Corps, is now a probationary officer and will spend the next six months completing on-the-job training at maximum security Casuarina Prison before becoming a qualified prison officer.
Since 2005, the academy has provided foundation training to more than 1600 new prison officers, aged 19 to 54.
The course is fulltime and new prison officers join the Department of Corrective Services as permanent employees on a nine-month proba- tion period. Trainees are paid on an annualised salary of $52,298 a year while training at the academy and when they become prison-based, move on to a first-year shift wage of $67,892 a year.
Mr Harris said the most interesting part of training was learning communication techniques, which would be essential for effective management and everyday interactions with colleagues and prisoners.
“I’ve chosen this career because of the diverse opportunities available to officers, both in location and job type,” the 32-yearold said.
“Potential leadership and management