A statement from the Prison Officers Association of Australasia (POAA)
“Last year, every State and Territory in Australia celebrated the 3rd Friday in January as “National Corrections Officer Day”.
We are pleased to say that from 2019, this day will be acknowledged in New Zealand by the Corrections Association of New Zealand, and we hope that next year the government will follow suit.
Corrections Officers are often the forgotten Essential or Emergency Service because most of their work is conducted behind the high walls of a prison. Because of these walls, a lot of the work of Corrections Staff is veiled in secrecy.
Every day behind these walls Corrections Officers, and indeed all prison staff, go into an extremely volatile and very dynamic environment made up of all of the people that society has decided should be removed from normal public life. Most, if not all, of these people have issues with gangs, drugs, mental health or violence. In fact, most of these people have issues with several of these things at once.
Being a Corrections Officer is a hard ask but certainly has its rewards with the comradeship that is developed among work colleagues. Corrections Officers do the work that needs to be done and they do it very professionally in the most challenging work environments.
As an Association that supports all Corrections Officers in both the Public and Private Sector, we are proud of what our members do, day in and day out and are happy to be able to take a day to remember the work that Corrections staff perform behind those closed walls.
As we celebrate the work that these brave public servants do, we also need to remember that the job is getting harder with overcrowding and double bunking becoming the norm across both Australia and New Zealand and this is resulting in increased violence levels in prisons. In particular, violence against Corrections Officers is increasing at a phenomenal rate.
We are calling on our respective State/Territory or National Governments to get behind this issue and do what it takes to provide a safe working environment for the officers who every day, Face What You Fear.
If you are interested speak to a contact in NSW, please email Nicole Jess firstname.lastname@example.org