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Corrections Minister Louise Upston has welcomed 40 new Corrections officers who have completed training.

The recruits graduated at a ceremony in Wellington yesterday and will now return to prison sites across the country.

“As a Corrections officer or offender employment instructor, these men and women can be a positive role model for many prisoners and help motivate them to turn away from a life of crime,” says Ms Upston.

The Minister’s Excellence Award was presented to Ieremia (Jerry) Teofilo of Mt Eden Corrections Facility in recognition of the leadership, professionalism and all around excellence he displayed throughout training.

“I am delighted to welcome Jerry to the team at Corrections,” says Ms Upston. “His enthusiasm, positivity and passion is highly valued by his fellow colleagues and the prisoners whose lives he has the opportunity to influence.”

“I am grateful that these men and women from all backgrounds, ethnicities and walks of life, have chosen to work with Corrections,” says Ms Upston.

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