corrections inspector of corrections trevor longmuir outside christchurch...
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C O R R E C T I O N S
Corrections Works is published quarterly by the Department of Corrections
Private Box 1206 Wellington 6140
P 04 460 3365
ON THE COVER: Inspector of Corrections Trevor Longmuir outside Christchurch Men’s Prison.
C O R R E C T I O N S from our Chief Executive
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Ray Smith CHIEF EXECUTIVE
CO N T E N T SJUNE 2017 from our Chief Executive
4 Day in the life of: Inspector of Corrections Trevor Longmuir
6 Minister’s employer breakfasts
7 Balancing security and rehabilitation at Auckland Prison
8 Alcohol and drug testing of offenders trial begins
9 Greymouth offender programme positively targets Māori youth
10 Pets profit from prisoner paintings
10 Reading reaps rewards
11 From our Minister
11 Fit for the job at Corrections
12 Regional highlights
16 Des Ripi – Te Pou Herenga Waka
At the end of May I was in Auckland for the Safeguard New Zealand Workplace Health and Safety Awards.
I t was an honour just to be nominated, but particularly pleasing to win the governance award for the best board level engagement in health and safety. We have made a great deal of progress in the area of health and safety,
thanks largely to our focus on leading health and safety from the executive level, so it was terrific to have this recognised by this award.
As you will see when you read Corrections Works, we take health and safety very seriously; we have to. Whether that’s introducing the new physical readiness assessment for our staff (page 11), ensuring the health and safety of staff on the construction site at Auckland Prison (page 7), or supporting the Office of the Inspectorate to investigate concerns from prisoners (page 4), it is always about reducing the risks that can exist in an organisation as large and diverse as ours.
As well as our 8,500 staff and the offenders we work with, there are many thousands of volunteers, contractors, staff from non-government organisations and other agencies
we engage with every day. The breadth of industries and individuals we work with is vast; the employers like Wildness Chocolate who take on offenders (page 14), Adult Learning Services on the West Coast (page 9), the volunteer librarians in Hawkes Bay (page 10), and Mr G, the artist in Paeroa (page 13). We may be diverse but we share a commitment to reduce re-offending, and make our communities safer places to live.
Lastly, I want to acknowledge Kaumätua and long serving Corrections staff member Des Ripi who passed away recently. On page 16, our Director Mäori Neil Campbell shares his memories of Des. Over the years, Des featured in many of Corrections’ publications, including this magazine. He was at the forefront of many of our most important initiatives and a stalwart in our ongoing efforts to reduce re-offending among Mäori. He shall be greatly missed and fondly remembered. ■
3CORRECTIONS WORKSDEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
Day in the life of: Inspector of Corrections Trevor Longmuir Corrections’ Prison Inspectorate has expanded. Now known as the Office of the Inspectorate, we have six new inspectors to conduct regular ‘free and frank’ prison reviews. The inspectors also identify emerging risks and highlight innovation and good practice.
What does a Corrections’ Inspector do? A big part of the role is routine prison visits where I have face-to-face contact with prisoners, staff and management. Each visit starts with a management briefing and ends with an inspector’s debrief. Then I write a report that records any issues of concern. This year, my team of three inspectors will do about five routine prison visits.
We also do ad-hoc visits and review serious incidents as directed. Another major part of being an inspector is death in custody investigations. Reports are submitted to the Chief Executive and the Coroner’s Office and we often have to speak at inquests and answer questions regarding our reports.
+ Inspector of Corrections Trevor Longmuir busy working on a report.
+ Inspector of Corrections Trevor Longmuir interviewing a prisoner.
We give advice to prison directors and other staff on policy, operations and legislation.
We have an 0800 service for prisoners, community offenders and the general public, so we take calls, and monitor our email address email@example.com.
Occasionally, offenders in the community make a complaint; these complaints require the same degree of investigation and reporting as any other complaint we receive.
What did you do before becoming an inspector? I started with the Department of Justice in 1984 at Auckland Prison as a prison officer. Over the years, I was a unit manager and acting site manager at Auckland Prison, an Auckland Central Remand Prison monitor, and I did a secondment to national office as Team Leader Operational Support. I’ve been an Inspector for 12 years.
What’s your favourite part of the job? I enjoy the variety of work. One week you can be out visiting a prison and talking with a variety of people, and the next week you can be in the office writing a report without having spoken to anyone, unless of course the chief inspector’s ringing to give me more work!
I also enjoy working with my colleagues in the Inspectorate team. We support each other but also have autonomy.
What’s the most challenging part of the job? We work in a challenging environment. Complaints by their very nature have a negative connotation and many of our complainants can be aggressive and have unrealistic expectations. In the 2015/2016 financial year, there were 1,058 formal complaints, of which 38 were found to be justified.
Any advice for someone wanting to be a Corrections Inspector? You need a sound knowledge of the department’s processes and the ability to see the big picture as well as the detail. You need a personal philosophy that all prisoners and offenders have the right to be treated with respect and have entitlements that are governed by legislation and policy. It’s our job to ensure each complaint or investigation is done without prejudice and with integrity and professionalism.
New Chief Inspector appointed New Chief Inspector Janis Adair will oversee the expanded Office of the Inspectorate from early July. Having worked for the Independent Police Complaints Authority and the Ombudsman, Janis has extensive investigative experience.
Her work with the Ombudsman was in the prison team and included investigations of prisoner complaints. Most recently she has been in the United Kingdom working on the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
Inspectors are guided by Healthy Prison Standards based on the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.
5CORRECTIONS WORKSDEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
“I was thinking, how will I earn money if I don’t do crime and then I thought, I suppose I could get a job (laughter). I hadn’t ever had a job so I never really considered it before.”
A former offender and gang member talking to a room of business leaders is not something you see every day, but that’s what happened at Corrections’ employer breakfast hosted by the
Minister of Corrections Hon Louise Upston on 19 April 2017 in Hamilton. Stacey* has turned his life around to become an employed and respected member of the community.
Full time employment can help reduce re-offending, but it takes a motivated offender and an open-minded employer.
Corrections’ Central Regional Commissioner Terry Buffery says, “Stacey’s story highlights that many of the people in our care have lived a very different life. The exposure they get at Corrections to basic life skills, programmes, numeracy and literacy, and trades and qualifications can change the course of their lives and reveal a future they never imagined.”
Employer breakfasts are an opportunity for Corrections staff to talk to industry representatives around the country about the benefits of hiring ex-offenders.
Terry says, “We want to strengthen existing relationships with local employers and create new links. By highlighting the
training we offer and our free recruitment service, we hope to secure more employment opportunities for offenders.”
Corrections has more than 100 Memoranda of Understanding with employers who’ve committed to offer jobs for around 1,000 offenders each year. In the past five months, Corrections’ offender recruitment consultants have placed 312 offenders into employment nationwide. As well as doing the groundwork to find the right person for the job, our Employment Support Service provides up to six months in-work support to help ex-offenders get and keep their jobs.
There is also help available for offenders who’ve been offered a job but face financial barriers to starting work. These could be the need to purchase tools, safety equipment, extra training, work boots, licences or even a bike to get to work. Whatever the financial barrier, Correction