One of the newest members of staff at Wanganui Prison comes into the job with high praise from Parliament after being presented with a ‘Minister's Excellence Award’ at her graduation from initial training today.
“Shontee Murray has been a role model to other course members in terms of her approach, attitude and the manner in which she has worked with others,” said National MP, Hekia Parata, attending the ceremony on behalf of Corrections Minister, Hon Judith Collins at the Staff Training College.
The Minister established the Excellence Award to promote and honour excellence in graduates of the Department’s six week live in training course. All new staff members must complete the course before working in a custodial role in a prison.
Assistant Regional Manager Christine O'Brien-Smith says she’s delighted that Shontee will be based at Wanganui Prison after she consistently achieved in her academic studies, as well as demonstrating her leadership qualities, teamwork ability and professionalism at the Staff Training College.
“Shontee has been a role model to other course members and she has exceeded the expectations of the college for the level required of a new recruit.”
“Shontee will fit in well – we set a high standard for staff and I am proud of our officers. They are professionals dedicated to protecting the public by securely managing prisoners, role modelling pro-social behaviour, and delivering rehabilitation opportunities to prisoners.”
Shontee was among twelve new recruits destined for Wanganui, Tongariro/Rangipo and Waikeria Prisons and Otago Corrections Facility who today graduated from the course and are now ready to join the frontline of community safety.
The new recruits have spent the last six weeks living at the Staff Training College adjacent to Rimutaka Prison where they have learnt the basics in actively managing all types of prisoners, from dangerous and disturbed to rehabilitation-focused quieter types. Graduates have covered a wide range of topics in their training including modules in Corrections legislation, the Sentencing and Parole Acts, site and perimeter safety and security, managing prisoners’ visitors, drug reduction in prison, gang management and how to avoid being compromised by prisoners.
Now that their initial training is complete they will return home and complete an induction programme at the prison they will be employed at before being assigned to full operational duties. During the course of their career in the Prisons Service they will continue to undertake workplace training toward National Certificates in Offender Management, refresher training and specialist role training as required.
Corrections Chief Executive Barry Matthews was also at the ceremony to welcome graduates into their new employment.
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