Graduates - first of many more to come

REGION - Corrections Victoria has welcomed 19 new prison officers to the corrections system at a graduation ceremony at Trawalla's Langi Kal Kal Prison.

Deputy Commissioner Rod Wise said the new officers will uphold the integrity and security of the Victoria's corrections system.

They will work across Langi Kal Kal Prison and Ararat's Hopkins Correctional Centre, which is currently undergoing a 350-bed expansion.

"Victoria's prison system has a long and proud history, and it gives me great pleasure to welcome the next generation of prison officers into the corrections system," Mr Wise said.

"The new recruits join thousands of other officers and prison staff across Victoria supporting a safer community and making a positive difference to the lives of offenders.

"Victoria's prison officers perform an excellent job, day in day out, to provide a safe and secure corrections system for the community."

The 19 new officers come from a diverse range of professional backgrounds, including IT, construction, and hospitality, and from a range of cultural backgrounds.

All officers have completed Corrections Victoria's rigorous training and assessment program, which covers security processes, conflict resolution, in-prison programs, reporting procedures, and emergency and risk management.

"They will draw on their life experience and their training to manage the day-to-day operations of the prison system," Mr Wise said.

"These officers will protect and uphold the security and integrity of the corrections system, while also working with offenders to make a real difference to their lives."

Mr Wise said Corrections Victoria was embarking on a major recruitment drive to support the ongoing expansion of Victoria's prison system.

A total of 749 prison beds have opened since the start of 2011, with around 2500 in the pipeline.

Construction resumed earlier this year on the 350-bed expansion of Hopkins Correctional Centre (HCC), with work expected to be completed before the end of 2014. The next squad of HCC recruits started training yesterday, with another squad to start in early February.

Major expansions are also being delivered at Marngoneet, the Metropolitan Remand Centre, Dhurringile, and Loddon Prison, with extra beds being added at other prisons across Victoria.

Mr Wise said Department of Justice employees, including graduate prison officers, received ongoing professional development and training, access to employee assistance programs and recreation facilities.

He said Corrections Victoria was looking for people with life experience and sound communication skills, along with individuals who have experience in trades and services.

Anyone interested in a career in corrections should visit cvcareers.com.au to find out more.

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