Corrections Minister Louise Upston has congratulated 53 new Corrections officers and offender employment instructors on their graduation from training.

“I thank these men and women for stepping up to this very challenging job. We need dedicated and committed people to give offenders the support and encouragement they need to turn their lives around,” Ms Upston says.

The 53 new staff will be based at prisons around the country.

Ivan Ddumba of Northland Regional Corrections Facility was presented with the Minister’s Excellence Award by Chief Custodial Officer Neil Beales.

Before joining Corrections, Mr Ddumba worked in Whangarei as a community support worker, helping people with mental health disorders.

He has carried these skills to his new role, with his Corrections instructors noting his life skills and calm presence in stressful situations would make him an exceptional officer and role model.

The latest graduations brings the total of new Corrections officers and offender employment instructors graduating so far this year to more than 230.

Corrections is on a recruitment drive to ensure prisons are safe for staff and prisoners, and to keep the community safe.

“I have visited 10 prisons and I am always impressed that Corrections staff go to work every day planning to make a difference in the lives of the people in their care. The successful rehabilitation and the reintegration of offenders back into their communities is a challenge we need to face together if we are to achieve a meaningful reduction in reoffending,” Ms Upston says.

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