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s n o z i r o New H NEWSLETTER

Issue No. 3 | December 2013

Thinking outside the cell NT scheme goes global

In this issue P. 2 Minister’s message P 2 NTDCS Strategic Intent 2013- 2016 revealed P. 3 From the Commissioner’s desk P. 3 HR People Plan 2013-2014 launched P. 4 Pillars of Justice - ‘from before arrest to beyond parole’ P. 4 Healthy Harold hits Head Office P. 5 Ricardo’s mo for a cause P. 5 Meet Lidia Di Lembo P. 6 Turning prisoners into taxpayers P. 7 LAE supermarkets P. 7 Cooking up a better future P. 8 Building a better future P. 8 New alcohol and drug program in Tenant Creek P. 9 Our Kevin QUITS P. 9 Traffic offender intervention scores at Ntaria P. 10 DCP team out and about P. 10 Service honoured P. 11 Corrections work party goes remote P. 12 Youth mural takes pride of place at legal HQ P. 12 Spruced up scooter sets the pace for gold

The Sentenced to a Job (STaJ) initiative may have only been operating for a short time but it has already attracted national and international attention. Commissioner Ken Middlebrook and Minister John Elferink, MLA recently attended a major international corrections conference in Colorado, USA where they delivered a presentation on Best Practices Towards Offender Employment Opportunities. The conference theme was Thinking Outside the Cell – Reducing the Use of Imprisonment. It was co-hosted by the North American chapter of the International Corrections and Prisons Association and attended by 539 corrections and prisons L-R Commissioner Ken Middlebrook and Jens professionals from 72 countries. Tolstrup, former Executive Director of NT Correctional Services. The Minister and Commissioner also met with Jens Tolstrup, former Executive Director of NT Correctional Services, who now lives in his native country, Denmark. Commissioner Middlebrook said the presentation was very well received. “There was a lot of interest from other delegates who were keen for more details on how the scheme was managed and operated, as well as information on community reactions. “I was also able to learn about other innovative employment and skills training programs in the USA and other parts of the world. The Minister and I will be looking at how we can further expand the program here in the Territory to include additional training and employment opportunities, including new commercial enterprises,” the Commissioner said.

The STaJ initiative has also attracted interstate interest with the Queensland Attorney General, Jarrod Bleijie, informing Minister Elferink that he is interested in seeing how the program operates. Western Australia’s Corrective Services has also expressed an interest in learning more.

This newsletter is produced by the Reform Initiatives, Communications and Community Engagement team. If you have a story you would like featured, email NTDCS.MediaCommunications@nt.gov.au

The initiative has received considerable national and international media coverage, including an article on the US based website www.correctionsone. com, items on Channel 9 News and the Today Tonight current affairs program, as well as press coverage in business publications, including the local NT Business Review.

Northern Territory Department of Correctional Services


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NEWS FROM HEAD OFFICE

Minister’s Message I am proud of the achievements the Department of Correctional Services has accomplished over the past year. The Department has been led with a strong direction to reduce recidivism and create a productive and innovative corrections system. As the Minister for Correctional Services I would ultimately like to see prison beds shut down with less crime in our community. I strongly believe we are on our way to achieving this goal through the positive programs and initiatives implemented by staff at Correctional Services.

Youth Justice is also moving forward at a fast pace. We want to see youth out of the prison system and diverted away from a lifetime of crime. If we can work with these children to change their offending ways now, we can help them have better behaviour and a chance at a positive and meaningful life in the future. Every staff member at the Department of Correctional Services is an asset to help achieve the challenges we have set. These challenges and goals are ambitious, yet achievable, with the same dedication and hard work displayed over the past year. I look forward to working with you all next year and wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas. Hon. John Elferink, MLA

Programs such as Sentenced to a Job have gone full steam ahead. We have gone from having very few inmates to now over 100 prisoners in employment across the Northern Territory. The guidance provided through this program, and the prison system generally, is designed to ensure that prisoners want to be positive and contributing members of the Territory community and not return back to the corrections system.

NTDCS Strategic Intent 2013-2016 revealed The highly anticipated Strategic Intent 2013-2016 was launched on 18 October 2013 at the Palmerston Community Corrections Office by Commissioner Ken Middlebrook and Minister John Elferink, MLA. The plan captures our vision and priorities over the next three years and provides the Department with the direction needed to achieve our strategic objectives. It cements our commitment to the government and to the people of the Territory who we represent. This plan will become a catalyst for achieving a community valued correctional service, that is actively making a difference in people’s lives. The message of the plan is simple – ‘we are delivering justice and changing attitudes’. This is a message that will inform the Department’s operation over the coming years. We will reform our services and deliver programs that increase inmate work readiness, deliver positive Indigenous outcomes, tackle rising inmate numbers, commit to youth reform and deliver safe workplaces for all of our staff. The Department’s new Strategic Intent encompasses the priorities to create a supportive people culture and build an integrated and accountable organisation that will deliver our key outcome - to reduce re-offending through employment, education and programs. We have an opportunity to make a positive difference by upholding the newly developed values of: Integrity,

Courage, Accountability, Respect, Professional Excellence and Commitment. These values will ensure staff are all working together in the same direction to achieve our objectives. The Strategic Intent 2013-2016 has been widely distributed together with new lanyards and value cards across the Department. A big thank you must be given to Bill Jeffery, Regional Manager of the Palmerston Community Corrections Office for hosting the event and the RICCE Team for all of their efforts in organising the event.

L-R Minister John Elferink MLA, Mandy Crow, Commissioner Ken Middlebrook, Bill Jeffery,

Northern Territory Department of Correctional Services


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From the commissioner’s desk It has now been just over one year since we separated from the former Department of Justice to become our own stand-alone agency as the NT Department of Correctional Services and I want to take this time to thank each and every one of you for making this enormous task such a success. There are still big changes to come, not the least of which will be the commissioning in July 2014 of the new Darwin Correctional Precinct, but the hard work and dedication to the tasks at hand that have been the hallmarks of our transition to date will serve us well in the coming months and years. As your Commissioner, I am very proud to report that development of our major policy projects, such as Sentenced to a Job, Pillars of Justice and Healthy Lifestyles and our recently launched Strategic Intent project, are not just appreciated by our Minister, the Hon. John Elferink MLA, and the NT Government as a whole, but are of great interest to our correctional colleagues in the other Australian jurisdictions and overseas.

As noted in this edition’s lead story, the Minister and I attended the International Corrections and Prisons Association Conference in Colorado in the United States. Correctional administrators from a total of 72 countries witnessed our presentation on Sentenced to a Job and we came away with extremely positive feedback about this initiative. This alone confirmed to me that NT Correctional Services is well placed to be on the leading edge of corrections and we should all take great pride in that. As part of the Healthy Lifestyles initiative, the end of this month will mark six months since the introduction on 1 July of the complete smoking ban across all NTDCS institutions for staff as well as inmates. I am extremely proud of the professional way prison-based staff, in particular, have met this challenge head on. You have not only been great role models for the inmates under your charge, you have also made important health improvements in your own lives. What we have achieved here in the Territory is now empowering the other Australian jurisdictions to go down the same path. With 2014 now just over the horizon, I wish you all and your families a safe and happy Christmas and a New Year filled with the exciting challenges that lie ahead.

HR People Plan 2013-2014 Launched Following the launch of the Strategic Intent 20132016, the NTDCS HR People Plan 2013-2014 was launched on 21 November in Alice Springs. The NTDCS People Plan compliments our Strategic Intent and shows the Department’s commitment to a skilled, diverse and sustainable workforce by developing and implementing relevant initiatives and actions. Its key focus areas are centred on engagement and include talent and resources, performance, leadership and diversity and inclusion. The strategic aims are to: • build a sustainable and diverse workforce to deliver current and future business objectives • encourage a collaborative workplace culture that is supportive, productive, respectful and accountable • promote responsible and visible leadership that drives strategic and operational outcomes. This plan was developed by our people for our people, and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to each of you. The plan can be found on the NTDCS Intranet.

Northern Territory Department of Correctional Services


SUPPORTIVE PEOPLE CULTURE

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Pillars of Justice - ‘From before arrest to beyond parole’ Pillars of Justice is a new justice strategy announced by Chief Minister Adam Giles and Minister John Elferink to better integrate police, justice and correctional services in the NT. The framework will deliver strengthened and coordinated responses to target repeat offending, violence, alcoholrelated crime and ensure community safety and streamline the service continuum between the police, courts and the correctional systems and reframe the way in which justice is delivered. Pillars of Justice will consider crime ‘from before an arrest to beyond parole’ through: • • • •

increasing public safety and reducing crime reducing violence in families and the wider community coordinated youth justice strategies for at-risk youth streamlined and effective solutions to criminal proceedings • reducing rates of imprisonment and recidivism with offender employment, education and training as key strategies • increasing the level of protection and support to victims.

The five fundamental pillars are Police, Courts, Youth Justice, Corrections and Victims. These will be supported by the sixth pillar, Statutes Reform. Of the six pillars, two fall within the remit of the Department: Pillar Three – Youth Turn (Youth Justice) and Pillar Four – Future Corrections (Corrections Reform). A multi-agency working group has been established with the following staff representing NTDCS: Lidia Di Lembo, Director, Reform Initiatives, Communications and Community Engagement Division (RICCE); Ashleigh Marian, Manager Reform Initiatives; and Amanda Nobbs-Carcuro, Project Coordinator Youth Justice. RICCE also provides Secretariat support to the Project Control Group, consisting of all executive directors in NTDCS. Many of the strategies already form part of our core business and will continue to be further developed over the next year.

HEALTHY HAROLD HITS HEAD OFFICE Everyone’s favourite giraffe recently visited NTDCS for a morning tea to support Ocsober fundraising efforts. Kevin Raby agreed to don the ‘Harold’ suit and sweat it out to raise almost $600 on the day for Life Education, which provides education to Territory kids about healthy living, drugs and alcohol. “It’s for a good cause so I don’t mind compromising my dignity. I don’t envy being Harold outside in Darwin’s heat – it was about 50 degrees in there and that’s in the air conditioning. “We all had a laugh and it was a bit of fun. Happy to help!” Kev said. Thanks to Rebecca Forrest and the Reform Initiatives, Communications and Community Engagement team for participating in Ocsober. They successfully raised over $800 from their fundraising efforts.

Healthy Harold aka Kevin Raby surrounded by his adoring fans

VALE – Theresa Westmacott Valued and highly regarded, former Director Staff Learning and Development, Theresa Westcott, passed away on Friday 8 November, following a long and courageous battle with illness. Theresa commenced working with the NT public service in 1984 and joined the Correctional Services team in June 1997 as Director Human Resources. Theresa worked in various areas of Corrections and the Department of Justice before taking up a permanent appointment as General Manager, Staff Training Centre, in 2010. In this role she oversaw the expansion of the responsibilities of the Staff Training Centre to include training for Community Corrections and Youth Detention and additional training for Custodial Services. Theresa was a very committed and dedicated staff member who was well respected amongst her peers. She was a tireless advocate for Correctional Services and her contribution, resilience, and courage over the last five years, whilst fighting serious illness, was awe inspiring. Vale Theresa.

Northern Territory Department of Correctional Services


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Ricardo’s Mo For A Cause

During Movember (the month formally known as November) millions of men around the world sprout moustaches in order to raise vital funds and awareness for prostate and testicular cancer and mental health issues. Since its humble beginnings in Melbourne in 2003, Movember has become a global movement which has been responsible for 3.9 million moustaches, collectively raising $443 million in the face of men’s health. This Movember, our very own Richard “Ricardo” Shelton has given the Alice Springs Community Corrections team a run for their money. Richard got behind Movember because he understands that men are not generally renowned for taking care of themselves. “I think that Movember is a bit of fun and it will hopefully help to diffuse the awkwardness of going to the doctor for check-ups or for dealing with depression,” he said. Richard admits that nothing is hard about growing a moustache. All you need to do is simple - stop shaving your top lip, shave everything else and, most importantly, convince your wife it’s only temporary.

L-R Laura Havard, Rachel McCallum, Richard Shelton, Shannon Cantwell and Nicole Bell

“My wife hates the look but loves the cause. We have depression and one prostate cancer death in our respective families. “All up, our aim is to raise around $1000 this Movember after a final push for support on the last day of the month and a follow up on pledges and I am so happy with the great support my family, friends and workmates have given me,” he said.

Meet Lidia DI LEMBO - from immigration to corrections Position: Director, Reform Initiatives, Communications and Community Engagement What is your background? I am a proud Territorian, Darwin born and raised, have lived overseas and also in QLD and SA. I have worked for nearly 27 years in operational and leadership roles with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. In the last five, I spent considerable time establishing teams and managing facilities in Onshore Detention Operations, to deal with the unprecedented number of unauthorised boat arrivals. This included being one of the appointed legal Guardians to over 100 unaccompanied minors in detention. This was definitely a challenge! When did you start working at NTDCS? June 2012 Why did you join Corrections? I joined NTDCS because I wanted a change from Immigration life and given my experience in not only Detention but also in managing a number of programs and services to assist in the settlement of newly arrived family and humanitarian entrants to Australia, I wanted to have a go in making a positive difference within Corrections. Although the client group here is very different (inmates and offenders in this context) and is mostly indigenous, there are some synergies in that we strive to find better ways to deliver holistic programs and services in relation to education, employment, accommodation and life skills to improve reintegration back to community. These are also basic elements crucial to a new migrant’s settlement in Australia, particularly a refugee who may have lived in a refugee camp from birth, without the basic necessities in life. What is your area of responsibility? To assist the Commissioner in achieving a number of strategic reforms within NTDCS and ensure the Media and Communications team provide a professional service to both NTDCS and AGD. This also includes being a project manager for the Darwin Correctional Precinct Project. When I first joined the Department, it was to lead the Reform Initiatives team in implementing the then “new era in corrections reform”. Following a change of government, Corrections separating from the former Department of Justice, and the Media and Communications Hub becoming part of the new Division, my work changed for the better, with much more variety and challenges, and I have enjoyed every moment. Besides work, what are your passions? Enjoy walking, gym and watching good movies. What's the number one skill or practice that has contributed to your success? Patience and always listen to all parties when dealing with conflict, as there is always ‘two sides to the story”!

Northern Territory Department of Correctional Services


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EMPLOYMENT, EDUCATION AND PROGRAMS

Turning prisoners into taxpayers

The Sentenced to a Job (STaJ) initiative has been well received by the NT business community and embraced by low security prisoners as a positive and desirable option for helping them to make a fresh start on release. The current STaJ initiative began in early 2013 and has grown to facilitate over 125 inmates in the first 12 months. As at 20 November 2013, there were 55 inmates in paid employment and 49 in volunteer employment across 44 businesses in the Territory and there is an additional 160 eligible and looking for placements. The program is having a significant impact on lowering the recidivism rate for participants with their re-offending rate dropping from 49 per cent (NT average) to just 18 per cent. Deputy Superintendent Alan Tunney offers some insights into his experience with the program so far. How do prison officers at the DCC view this type of rehabilitation program? Most prison officers, particularly long serving ones, seem to ‘get it’. What we were doing, and have done since time began, wasn’t having any positive effect on offending and recidivism. In general, they are happy to ‘give it a go’ and see what eventuates. The vast majority of prison officers seem to be very supportive of the program and recognise that it may take time to impact on recidivism. Any issues with the program with regard to management or resources? It has been identified that the STaJ staffing and transport capabilities need to be increased to keep up with the rising number of inmates accessing the program. Some inmates also work an evening shift, not returning to the Low Security Unit until after 11pm. To accommodate this, some ‘age old’ processes, including the way officers view ‘prison time’, has required a minor reassessment. The vast majority of prison officers have pitched in and supported the program and now offer solutions when problems are identified.

How do the inmates qualify to be part of the scheme? Through good behaviour and displaying a good work ethic. While employed within the prison system, inmates progressively have their security rating reviewed and altered accordingly. With a good report on these issues, inmates progress onto outside work parties, volunteer work and paid employment. Do you see any noticeable improvements in inmates’ attitudes and behaviour? Inmates are realising that there are opportunities to gain skills and knowledge and find work on the outside. This work builds confidence, which is reflected in a more positive approach from inmates. What impact is this sort of initiative having on the general inmate population? They feel that paid employment is a great idea as they can earn money while still in prison, which helps set them up upon release. Paid employment is not suitable for all inmates due to the offences they have committed. The department has a responsibility to the general public so there is always going to be some inmates who aren’t suitable. Any ideas for future expansion or changes to the STaJ program? The program is ‘evolving’ at a rapid rate and many changes are likely to be introduced in the near future. The requirement for participation by increased numbers of inmates will likely see a need for a ‘work ethic’ more common to private enterprise. It will need to target the areas the inmates will/can work in upon release.

Northern Territory Department of Correctional Services


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LAE Supermarkets The Sentenced to a Job (STaJ) program is having a significant positive impact on one local Alice Springs business that now believes the program is a reliable avenue for sourcing staff. Human Resources Manager at LAE Supermarkets, Janet Inglis, shares her experience with employing inmates through the program. “LAE Supermarkets started employing participants from STaJ in July 2012. Initially, I wanted our company to participate in a program to promote indigenous employment, which it has done. “The program was an opportunity for me to source staff that I could rely on to turn up when rostered on, be well presented, and be ready to train and work. Over time, it has become a source of reliable staff in Alice Springs,” she said. Ms Inglis said there were real opportunities for continued employment for those who show commitment to their employment. “We continue to employ two STaJ participants and would be happy to retain all employees we have on the program if they continue their good work habits and general dependability,” she said. Across the LAE Supermarkets, inmates are afforded the opportunity to truly get amongst it with most getting opportunities to work across all areas of the business. “The participants on the program are trained to work in as many areas of our stores as possible, including cash handling, customer service, stock management, fast food preparation and service, cleaning, stocktake, shelf management, fresh produce, dairy, and freezer,” Ms Inglis said. These opportunities have been successful in assisting inmates to gain positive work experiences and for some individuals it has been the fresh start they needed to re-enter the community.

Cooking Up a Better Future One of the first businesses to sign up for the scheme was Darwin based Karen Sheldon Catering. Karen Sheldon Director, Sarah Hickey, explains how STaJ is helping to address a huge skills shortage across all industries in Darwin. “Good reliable labour is hard to find and we recognise it is better to employ locals and offer training for disadvantaged groups rather than having to rely on seasonal labour such as backpackers who can be a bit hit and miss with their skill levels,” Ms Hickey said. Operations Manager for the Training Department at Karen Sheldon Catering, Nicole Shackcloth, said most of the prisoners they have employed have been terrific role models. "They show up on time, want to be there because they don't want to be back in prison and are quite happy to do basic tasks at the start,” she said. Inmate Andy, who is serving a five-year sentence, has been a committed worker in the Karen Sheldon Catering kitchen for nearly four months. “Andy is a great example of how this scheme is a win/win for both parties. We get a reliable and committed worker who is keen to learn more and the prisoners get an opportunity to learn new skills, earn a wage and a chance to turn their lives around so that when they are released from prison they have skills, a positive attitude and are work ready. “We are looking forward to being able to take on more prisoners in the New Year if they are available and eligible for the program,” Ms Shackcloth said.

“From my observations, several employees are making tangible progress in turning their lives around and have reduced their dependence on alcohol. Employment in a good and supportive workplace can only be of benefit to them. “The immediate benefits to the LAE businesses have been reliable and happy staff. Long term, I feel that we are participating in a program that can bring real benefits to families and the Alice Springs community.” Andy showing off his skills in the Karen Sheldon Kitchen

Northern Territory Department of Correctional Services


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EMPLOYMENT, EDUCATION AND PROGRAMS

BUILDING A BETTER FUTURE Education changes lives! Currently, 41 inmates from the Darwin Correctional Centre are well on their way to a brighter future after being awarded with trade qualifications during a graduation ceremony at the Berrimah Construction Services (BSC) training facility. The inmates were presented with VET qualifications at a special event on 14 October 2013 attended by over 70 guests. These included DCC staff, stakeholders and dignitaries including the Minister for Correctional Services, John Elferink MLA, invited guests from the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education, NTDCS, Department of Business, Master Builders Association, Housing Industry Association and members of the Northern Territory Correctional Industries Advisory Council (CIAC). Batchelor Institute Director, Adrian Mitchell, presented eight inmates with a Certificate II in Construction and 33 received a Statement of Attainment. Special awards were also presented to two prisoners for their demonstration of leadership in the program. During his speech, Minister Elferink spoke of his strong political commitment to programs such as the BSC and Sentenced to a Job because of their potential to change lives. He congratulated inmates on their achievements and work ethic and noted their new qualifications will increase their eligibility to participate in the Sentenced to a Job program. Following a ‘Welcome to Country’ by Larrakia woman DorrieAnne Raymond, Commissioner Ken Middlebrook commended the work of his own team and partnership between NTDCS

Batchelor Institute Director, Adrian Mitchell presents qualifications to graduates

and Batchelor Institute. He said the past 12 months had been one of the most rewarding periods in his long career due to the successes of programs like BCS construction training and the NTDCS Sentenced to a Job program. He also acknowledged the commitment and determination of those graduates who had decided to continue their studies and the importance of training and jobs in helping to generate a sense of purpose, pride and self-respect.

NEW Alcohol and drug PROGRAM IN TENNANT CREEK Offenders frequently end up in court as a result of crimes committed while affected by drugs or alcohol. When the reality check hits and they are convicted, it can result in some offenders becoming motivated enough to do something about their downward spiral into destructive and often violent behaviour. For those who want to change, there is support and professional help available. In Tennant Creek, a new Alcohol and Drug Awareness and Education program (AOD ) is being rolled out, facilitated by an experienced councillor from Catholic Care. Funded by the NT Department of Health, the program is specifically aimed at non-custodial offenders in Community Corrections.

The counsellor is also accompanying staff on some remote area visits to provide offenders access to one-on-one AOD education and counselling,” Ian said. A second AOD program is currently in the planning stages.

Regional Manager of Community Corrections in Tennant Creek, Ian Brough, said the program is run across approximately eight weekly sessions in the Tennant Creek Office. “The program is designed as an ‘entry point’ to allow more motivated offenders to engage one-on-one with the facilitator after they have completed the group sessions.

Northern Territory Department of Correctional Services


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OUR KEVIN QUITS! Dave gave him the popular Allen Carr Quit Smoking book and it really worked for Kevin, along with the support of his partner and family. Principal Health Advisor and Smokefree Coordinator Robyn Hopkins said indications are that the total ban on smoking in all NTDCS facilities is progressing well and the implementation of the policy is now moving into a new Stage 2 Phase.

The QUIT campaign hits a musical note with the prison band at NAIDOC Festival

Ask anyone who has tried to QUIT smoking – it can be a challenge on many fronts. However, the positive gains that come with quitting are many. Just ask Kevin Grenfell from Professional Standards, who has recently invested the money he has saved from giving up smoking towards a new Hilux. He has also acquired some significant additions and upgrades to his fishing gear collection and, best of all, he has loads more energy.

“We will be focusing on the benefits and recording the positive stories of prisoners on a DVD so we can all share and celebrate what has been gained rather than what is lost by giving up smoking,” Robyn said. “There are also plans underway to train some Indigenous prisoners to become smoking cessation workers in their own communities upon release. “In the 12 month period in the lead up to the introduction of the policy, and since it came into force on 1 July this year, the success of our ‘village approach’ has been due to a genuine team effort by committed staff members. These include specially trained QUIT educators inside the prisons, as well as support and input from health and education staff and non-custodial team members,” Robyn said.

“I first took up the habit at age 15 or 16 and, until recently, smoking was costing me over $150 every fortnight, so when the Department flagged the introduction of the No Smoking Policy, I decided to give it a go.

For more information on the Smokefree program and how staff members can also access support call Robyn on 8935 7587 or email robyn.hopkins@nt.gov.au

“This was my first try at quitting and I was fortunate to have the support of my Manager, Dave Ferguson, who is also a former smoker,” Kevin said.

MY QUIT BUDDY - FREE IPHONE/ANDROID APP

QUITLINE 13 7848

Traffic offender intervention SCORES AT NTARIA The Traffic Offender Intervention Program (TOIP) is producing some very positive results in Central Australia with three men from Ntaria (Hermannsburg) demonstrating that despite a run in with the law for traffic violations, hard work and a desire to learn new skills can open up new opportunities. All three have successfully completed TOIP and have also graduated from an eight week course in construction. Each of them now hold VET Certificates 1 and 2 in Construction, white cards, and learner’s licences. They are all committed to continuing their training so they can obtain forklift licences and be job-ready.

not available to the general public, only offenders with a current community or parole order can be referred. The program is regularly delivered in Darwin, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and Katherine. There have also been 15 programs delivered in remote communities, including Nhulunbuy, Groote Eylandt, Borroloola and Yuendumu.

The three men have been supervised by Community Corrections Probation and Parole Officer, Caitlin Martin, who is based in the Alice Springs Office. “All three men have responded well to TOIP and now have a greater understanding of the NT traffic regulations, as well as why complying with these regulations is important for the ongoing safety of themselves, their family and community members,” Caitlin said. NTDCS, in partnership with the Department of Transport, developed and delivered the five day TOIP. The program is

Northern Territory Department of Correctional Services


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STRONG COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS

DCp COMMISSIONING TEAM OUT and about On 1 July 2014, the Darwin Correctional Precinct (DCP) becomes fully operational as a state-of-theart purpose built correctional facility. Over the dry season, the DCP team were out and about spreading the word about the Precinct using the Correctional Services custom built trailer as a mobile information centre. They popped up in popular locations, including the Friday night Palmerston Markets.

keeping inmates active. Responses have ranged from being surprised to applauding the fact that every prisoner has the opportunity to embark on structured daily programs, training in vocational education and, if deemed appropriate, working external to the precinct and earning a wage.

Let’s hear from the General Manager, Bill Carroll, who lives and breathes the DCP. So why Palmerston Markets and not somewhere busier like Mindil? Well, the project is based in Holtze, which is in close proximity to Palmerston, but we also find that at the Palmerston Markets we’re speaking to the actual locals that care about what’s happening in their neighbourhood, rather than interstate visitors. Who’s been involved in spruiking the DCP Project? EVERYONE! No member of the commissioning team can hide from the community engagement aspect of this project. We’ve all taken turns and it’s been a good initiative to make sure our messages are consistent and get people excited about this extraordinary project What have locals asked about the project? We’ve received a lot of questions about when the project starts and employment but the biggest questions have been around

Merrick Wade at Palmerston Markets

DCP KEY MILESTONES Building completion – End 2013 Installation of security system – Early 2014 Training Centre completion – March 2014 Testing of facility – 1 June 2014 Fully operational – 1 July 2014

service honoured The life and dedication to service of former Alice Springs Industry Officer Neil Anderson was marked in late November at a special ceremony at the Alice Springs Correctional Centre. Minister John Elferink MLA, Commissioner Ken Middlebrook, Alice Springs Correctional Centre (ASCC) Superintendent Bill Yan and current ASCC staff joined Neil’s widow Heather and children for the opening of Anderson Road, connecting the L-R ASCC Superintedent Bill Yan, Rock Schembri, Robbie Cheslett and Stuart Highway with Commissioner Ken Middlebrook ASCC. Speaking at the opening, Minister Elferink said the official naming of the road paid tribute to Neil’s dedication and commitment to NT Correctional Services and the community of Alice Springs. “Neil worked at the Department of Correctional Services for eight years, bringing his automotive and mechanical skills he had gained in a previous career into the prison environment, developing training programs for prisoners,” he said.

“The programs helped prisoners to gain skills in the automotive trades that they could use on their release. “Perhaps Neil’s greatest legacy was working with the prisoners to build and maintain off-road race cars which were entered into the high profile Finke Desert Race. “It is clear Neil is well missed in the Alice Springs community and at the ASCC and the naming of Anderson Road is a good way to pay tribute and remember a person who had so many achievements and made such a positive impact on prisoners.” Neil Anderson passed away on 15 December 2006 after a three year battle with cancer. Throughout that very difficult time, Neil not only continued to work throughout his various treatments and chemotherapy but trained and developed his replacement at the ASCC workshops and remained an active member and volunteer for his motor sports clubs and associations.

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Corrections Work Party Goes Remote It is not every day you are asked to help build a town in six weeks! This was the task given to a NTDCS work party of 30 prisoners and four prison officers who headed out to North-East Arnhem Land to assist the Yothu Yindi Foundation and the Gumatj Corporation prepare for the 2013 GARMA Festival. The festival is held each year at a special site 40 kilometres from Nhulunbuy. The project involved the setting up of a tent city for over 1500 participants and delegates that came from around the Territory, interstate and overseas. Senior Policy Officer with the Prisoner Education, Reintegration and Indigenous Affairs unit, Juanita Jones said this was the third time NTDCS had sent a work party to GARMA and it is an initiative that grew out of the Elders Visiting Program.

contribution to the wider Territory community by completing more than $3.5 million in projects with almost 250,000 hours of labour. This year, along with their contributions at the GARMA Festival, the work party teams also assisted with a range of other community events, such as Finke River Desert Race, Hidden Valley Drags, the V8 Supercars and the Henley-on-Todd Regatta.

“This year NTDCS signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding with the Yothu Yindi Foundation and the Gumatj Corporation for an ongoing three year commitment to support the staging of the annual GARMA Festival. “It’s a great partnership and the prisoners, especially ones with strong kinship links to the area, are very eager to participate as it allows them to reconnect with culture and country. “This annual project has become a very popular job that prisoners have to prove themselves and qualify for. The difference you see in the prisoners who are selected to go to GARMA is enormous in terms of the pride they take in the work they do and the increase to self-esteem and confidence,” Ms Jones said.

Official announcement of Memorandum of Understanding L-R Commissioner Ken Middlebrook, Senior Galpu Elder, Dhanggal Gurruwiwi, Senior Gumatj Elder, Balupalu Yunupingu and Minister John Elferink MLA

The work party arrived at the GARMA site six weeks prior to the festival and the first task was to clear the bush site of debris, vegetation and any rubbish, including removing 50 trees that were a potential hazard. Then they helped to construct shade structures, tent accommodation and catering facilities and assist with cleaning the shower and toilet blocks in the lead up to the festival and rubbish collection during the event. Ray Petrie Chief Prison Officer and Coordinator of Community Work Parties at DCC, explained the ongoing involvement with projects such as GARMA benefits both the prisoners as well as the prison officers.

Department of Correctional Services Display at GARMA

“It is a big commitment for the POs that accompany the work party out to GARMA as it is a 24/7 job. For many of the officers though, it is an opportunity to learn more about Aboriginal culture and to engage with a diverse range of people from federal and local politicians, academics and musicians and artists and traditional elders. “The prisoners also benefit because they get an opportunity to work alongside other contractors and learn new skills, all the while making a significant contribution to an important cultural festival,” he said. Last year the NTDCS work party teams made a valuable

Local dancers at GARMA

Northern Territory Department of Correctional Services


STRONG COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS

12

Youth mural takes pride of place at legal HQ Youth detainees at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in Berrimah have used their artistic talents to aid the legal profession. Working during school holidays, a group of 10 detainees painted a series of nine murals on corrugated iron that now adorn the rear courtyard fence of the North Australia Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) on Shadforth Lane (rear of 61 Smith St). The murals depict a journey along the Stuart Highway from the desert sands of Central Australia to the waters of the tropical Top End. Titled “From the Desert to the Sea”, it depicts the journey some have taken from towns and communities along the route to Don Dale. The project has given the detainees a great sense of pride in what they can achieve, both as individuals and as part of a team. Joined together, the murals span 8.4 metres and stand 1.8 metres high.

Spruced up Scooter sets the Pace for Gold When the Darwin Correctional Centre gave the green light for the Darwin Cycling Club to have their scooter repaired and remodelled by prisoners, none was more excited than Director of Major Projects and Infrastructure Franck Alcidi. “The new and improved pace scooter meant the cycling club could train harder and faster in the lead up to the NT Track Championships held in Alice Springs on 6 November,” Franck said. “This is a win/win situation for all parties. The prisoners learn valuable skills as well as giving back to the community and in return the Darwin Cycling Club benefits too.

The scooter before

“Our team of six riders came home with 9 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze medal at the NT Track Championships and I took out my favourite event, the 500m time trial sprint as well. “The wins for the Darwin team means we can now represent the NT at a national level, which we plan on doing next year,” he said. While fixing up one scooter may not appear to be a life altering event, the project is also about NTDCS building partnerships with community organisations. As a result of this initiative, selected youth detainees may soon be introduced to competitive track cycling.

The scooter after

“I’ve been an avid cyclist since I could walk and my aim is to get Don Dale youth involved in cycling. Sport is an avenue for youth to explore and address their offending behaviour and by participating in track cycling will emphasis and assist personal development and responsibility, regardless of ability,” Franck said. Franck’s performance in Alice Springs qualified him to represent the NT at the Australian National Masters Track Championships in Melbourne in March 2014. He will also be part of a team of 11 from Darwin who will represent the NT at the Tasmania Christmas Carnival and the Adelaide State Championships. Next year, Franck will also compete at the World Masters Championships in England. All the best Franck!

The scooter in action!

Northern Territory Department of Correctional Services

New Horizons Newsletter - Issue 3 - December 2013  
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