Grad­u­ates step into new life at prisons

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Bentley -

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

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