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Corrections Minister Louise Upston has welcomed 45 new Corrections officers to the front line.

The latest cohort, which graduated at a ceremony in Wellington today, includes officers from the United Kingdom, Samoa, South Africa and India. They come from a range of professions including former police officers, nurses and mental health workers.

“Corrections staff play an extremely important role. Not only do they keep our communities safe, they ensure the safety of prisoners and often act as mentors and confidantes to the people in their care. Some people in our prisons have never had positive role models and Corrections officers are in a unique position to be do that,” Ms Upston says.

“That is why Corrections seeks people with varied life and work skills from a diverse range of backgrounds. Being that person who can help turn someone away from a life of crime is special and I applaud these new Corrections officers for taking that step.”

Charmaine Shaw of Christchurch Women’s Prison was presented with the Minister’s Excellence Award which acknowledges the leadership, enthusiasm and drive she displayed during training.

Ms Shaw speaks Te Reo Maori and has worked in education, with youth and people with mental health issues. She is involved in sports, including managing the South Island Scorpions rugby league team. 

“Charmaine is described a natural leader and is known for her ability to uplift and encourage others. These are fantastic attributes in a Corrections officer,” Ms Upston says.

The new graduates will work at prisons across the country.

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