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Corrections Minister Louise Upston has congratulated 65 new Corrections officers and offender employment instructors who graduated from their 12-week training course today.

“I thank these men and women for choosing a career with Corrections and joining our efforts to protect public safety and reduce reoffending,” says Ms Upston.

“I am delighted to have such a high calibre of recruits joining the department.”

The new staff will be based at prisons throughout the country.

Darren Drewery of Rimutaka Prison was presented with the Minister’s Excellence Award to acknowledge the leadership, professionalism and all-round excellence he demonstrated throughout training.

Darren served in the British military for six years as an infantry officer before teaching scuba diving and managing a scuba and sports fishing centre in Abu Dhabi in 2015.

Throughout training Darren was seen as a quiet leader, achieved excellent results and was well-liked by his peers.

His decision to join Corrections in New Zealand was for a challenge to himself and the opportunity to help all sorts of people in his community.

“People like Darren are the positive role models people in prison need,” Ms Upston says.

“Their new career path will give them many opportunities to make a real impact on the lives of prisoners, their families and our wider communities.”

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