Corrections News Mar-Apr 2011

Chief Executive's comment

Chief Executive Ray SmithWorking at Corrections you are well aware that bad things happen to good people, but this has never been more true than in recent months with the devastating earthquake in Christchurch. 

The earthquake that shook Christchurch has impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of people both here and overseas. Now two months on we are still picking up the pieces of a shattered community.

Our first priority has been ensuring our staff and their families are safe and have any support they need. From there we have moved our attention on to getting our business back up and running so we can continue to ensure the safety of the public. 

Thankfully our prisons remained relatively unscathed, although a number of our buildings used by our Probation Services and Rehabilitation and Reintegration Services have been severely damaged and remain closed. 

I stand humbled at the enormous efforts of my staff during this testing time. Hundreds of staff continued to turn up for work in spite
of the immense hardships all around them including damaged homes, inaccessible roads, no access to cellphones, power or water. Our people suffered injuries, or had friends and family who were hurt or killed. Nothing can prepare us for this scale of tragedy, but
as we mourn those who passed away, we continue to support those who are trying to cope in the aftermath of the disaster.

Corrections has focused on providing practical help to the community and you will find examples of this help throughout these pages. I am thankful that our workforce includes many people whose skills have been so well utilised across Christchurch, providing valuable help as psychologists, paramedics, interpreters and nurses.

Of course, offenders and prisoners are part of our community too, and we have experienced a genuine illingness from them to help
out as well. To date, they have been making up welfare packs, sewing sheets and blankets and helping to feed visitors, staff and thousands of those in need.  We will continue to provide any assistance we can to help the people of Christchurch rebuild their city and their lives.

Ray Smith

Welfare to your door

Rolleston Prison ational Moderator Wayne de Wagt out on his welfare parcel deliveries.Rolleston Prison National Moderator Wayne de Wagt spent a few days after the earthquake driving his mini-van around Christchurch delivering welfare packs to Corrections and Ministry of Justice staff.

“At one house I was greeted by a relieved-looking probation officer, who has a number of young children and had been without power and water for over a week,” he says.

If people were not at home Wayne left the welfare packs of food, batteries, head-lamps and sanitiser on their doorsteps.

Although our people were the priority, it wasn’t just Corrections and Justice staff who got the benefit of Wayne’s visits. 

He also dropped off supplies to staff member’s families, such as battery powered lamps to the elderly mother of one staff member. And he always asked if the neighbours were okay and usually handed over some supplies to them too.

“People were very appreciative and it was great for me to just be able to do something to help,” he says.  

Christchurch earthquake response

Earthquake damage has closed several Community Probation Services Centres in Christchurch, but staff are continuing to monitor and manage offenders. This damage is at Pages Road Service Centre.Following the devastating Christchurch earthquake on February 22, Corrections staff from around the country have been pulling together to ensure all prisoners and community-based offenders in the area continue to be managed appropriately.

Immediately after the quake Corrections established an Emergency Operations Centre in Christchurch to enable a quick and effective response to help our people and the wider community.

For staff in Christchurch, the immediate priority has been their families and homes, and staff who need it have been encouraged to take special leave.

Community Probation Services (CPS) in Christchurch were particularly hard hit, with many service centres closing due to damage. With the need to continue monitoring offenders, seven camper vans were sourced and fitted with IT equipment so staff have a base to work from. 

CPS has been working closely with electronic monitoring company G4S and Police to locate all offenders on home detention in Christchurch, many of whom had to leave their homes. For offenders who are able to safely remain in their homes, and who have
power, monitoring continues as normal. Those offenders who have no power or who have been forced to move are being visited regularlyto confirm they are staying at an approved address.

Staff from around the country have been volunteering to cover for their Christchurch colleagues who have suffered damage or losses at home.  CPS staff from other regional offices have been going to Christchurch in groups of 20 to relieve local colleagues.At least 80 Prison Services staff have also been helping – both covering shifts in Christchurch’s prisons and assisting CPS staff to manage community based offenders. 

All three prisons in the Canterbury region – Christchurch Men’s, Christchurch Women’s and Rolleston Prisons – sustained only minor damage from the quake and subsequent aftershocks. Having safe and habitable prison buildings put Corrections in a position to
help the general community.  Prisoners from Rolleston were moved to Christchurch Men’s to free up accommodation for Civil Defence personnel, emergency service workers and volunteers. One 17-bed block at Christchurch Men’s Prison was emptied to provide
Police cells, if necessary.

Ministry of Justice Court buildings in Christchurch remain closed, so Corrections has set up a temporary centre at Christchurch Men’s Prison to help keep the Courts running. 

Feeding large numbers is something Corrections is good at. Displaced people at welfare centres in New Brighton and Rangiora appreciated 140 beef stroganoff meal packs catered by Corrections Inmate Employment kitchens.

Prison horticulture instructors have been putting together daily vegetable packs from prison gardens and delivering them to the Salvation Army and community kitchens catering for the emergency services. 

As the city moves into its clean-up process, offenders on community work are being put to good use. By 1 March
400 offenders were availablefor community work projects.

PRIDE awards

Fab four: Human Resources Administrator Tracey Rhodes, Executive Assistant Corrections Inmate Employment (now National Prisoner Training Co-ordinator) Rachel Barwell, Senior Corrections Officer Rosalie Hardy, and National Co-ordinator Prison Services Wayne le Haavre.The Department’s top honours are the annual PRIDE awards that recognise staff who exhibit professionalism, responsiveness, integrity, diversity and efficiency and effectiveness. 

To earn the award nominees must not only have demonstrated a specific work initiative that reflects one or more of the PRIDE values
but they must also have consistently demonstrated outstanding and exceptional behaviours and actions that go over and above the
requirements of their role.

Earning a PRIDE award is an achievement to be celebrated and acknowledged in a special way.

Congratulations to the 2010 PRIDE award recipients:

Rosalie Hardy, Senior Corrections Officer – Rosalie won her award for the key role she has played in initiatives that are responsive to the welfare support for staff, particularly her role in co-ordinating the Post Incident Response Team (PIRT). She was instrumental in providing support to colleagues through PIRT and the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) during both Christchurch earthquakes.

Tracey Rhodes, Human Resources Administrator – long-serving and highly regarded by staff, Tracey consistently does an exceptional job and always goes the extra mile. Her efficiency and effectiveness in overcoming the technical logistics of updating the
organisational chart, co-ordinating long service awards and organising Christmas BBQs for Christchurch prisons’ staff have earned her the PRIDE award.

Rachel Barwell, Executive Assistant Corrections Inmate Employment (CIE) – Rachel is a passionate promoter of the work of CIE and was instrumental in co-ordinating the CIE Embedded Literacy Training (CELT) which teaches CIE instructors how to embed numeracy and literacy training for prisoners within trade industry qualifications. Rachel consistently demonstrates professionalism and efficiency and effectiveness in her work.

Wayne le Haavre, National Co-ordinator Prison Services – Wayne has been recognised for developing control and restraint techniques in 1991 after benchmarking international standards. He has been innovative and responsive in continuing to develop new practices and
introduce new techniques in response to changes in the operating environment.

Rachel Barwell - walking the talk

Now seconded to the role of National Prisoner Training Co-ordinator, Rachel Barwell is just one of our reasons to be proud.When Rachel was hired as Executive Assistant to the National Manager of Corrections Inmate Employment (CIE) in 2006
she told her new boss she could do the core EA role with her eyes closed and she hoped he would have some projects for her. 

And that is how Rachel approaches her work – always with a view to doing more than is required. She has a real passion for prisoner
employment and wholeheartedly believes that without relevant skills, training and qualifications, it is a hard road for prisoners to obtain a job on release and turn their lives around.

While encouraging instructors to upskill in adult education training and their specific trades Rachel felt she also needed to gain a qualification in the area of adult education in order to ‘walk the talk’.

Rachel completed the National Certificate in Adult Education and Training level 5 and followed with a Diploma in Adult Education in
2009. In her current seconded role as National Prisoner Training Co-ordinator she has been able to apply her qualifications directly
in analysing sector-based training, looking for areas for CIE to improve its training delivery to prisoners.

In mid 2009, she was one of eight CIE staff to undertake the National Certificate in Adult Literacy Education (Voc)(NCALE) as a pilot to determine how CIE could embed literacy and numeracy training within existing vocational or trade-based courses. Since then, 28 more CIE instructors have completed the NCALE training, enabling them to teach the basic numeracy and literacy required for prisoners to understand the technical training of trade-based courses. Rachel has been instrumental in co-ordinating this training, now know as CELT – CIE Embedded Literacy Training.

Rachel cites an example showing how the training is making a difference. An engineering instructor was teaching a group of
prisoners to cut metal to size. The instructor was surprised when a practical exercise of cutting a 3cm piece of steel was unsuccessful. “When he discovered the prisoners did not know how to read a ruler he was able to take a step back and teach the basic numeracy skills required, resulting in a much improved outcome,” says Rachel.

“I was happy to nominate Rachel for this award. Her professional approach to dealing with stakeholders such as the Tertiary
Education Commission and training providers make her an asset to Corrections,” says National Manager CIE, Robin Benefield.

Rachel is most proud of the production of three prisoner employment DVDs which she co-ordinated in 2007. She has shown them to friends and family who have been impressed at what Corrections does in terms of prisoner employment. Rachel was also moved by the willingness of prisoners to be interviewed for the DVDs. “The prisoners really believe in the value of training and employment and the Release to Work employers are so supportive of prisoner employment.” 

New Chief Probation Officer Astrid Kalders

New Chief Probation Officer Astrid Kalders.Corrections’ new Chief Probation Officer (CPO) is a firm believer in the power of psychology in helping offenders lead
better lives. 

Astrid Kalders officially took up her new post on 14 March but she is no stranger to the Department. She joined Corrections in 1993
as an Assistant Psychologist in Christchurch.

“I was drawn to work for the Department after completing a clinical placement, when I became aware of the many ways a psychologist could contribute to making individual behaviour change that could help offenders to lead better lives.”

After finishing her clinical training in 1993, Astrid worked as a psychologist and a senior psychologist for a number of years before becoming a Principal Psychologist in 1998. In 2001 she spent six months on secondment as manager of Christchurch Women’s Prison and was awarded a Chief Executive Scholarship in 2002 to complete her MBA before returning to her role as Principal Psychologist.

She was appointed CPS’ Northern Regional Manager in 2005 and through various restructures held that role till her latest move to the CPO role.“

One key aspect that has kept me working in Corrections is the range and diversity of our work. Whether the challenge is supporting operational implementation, working to grow and develop teams and services, or seeing individual staff attain new skills, the opportunity to make a worthwhile contribution has kept me here much longer than I ever expected.” 

Her new focus as CPO is on practice leadership. “The first part of the role will be to define what practice leadership is for probation staff and what it means to work as a professional probation practitioner in a NZ Corrections setting. The key challenge for the role will be to achieve this for all staff.

“This means finding ways to ensure that staff are supported to make effective and appropriate professional judgements and decisions in managing offenders, have the necessary tools to manage offenders, particularly high risk offenders, and to ensure that all practice is effective with Mäori offenders.” 

As CPO, Astrid will also provide advice to the CPS General Manager, and to the Chief Executive as is necessary on special investigations. She will be responsible for ensuring that practice is evidence-based. 

The CPO role is a unique role for Corrections that has evolved as part of the Change Programme to transform the way we work with offenders in the community. Astrid believes it will continue to evolve and contribute to improving practice. “By working closely with other practice advisors, including the Director Mäori Practice Leadership, we’ll ensure we are effective with all offenders, and particularly Mäori offenders.” 

Ultimately, our practice will contribute to safer communities, and to reducing re-offending.

Academic Background
Astrid is a qualified Clinical Psychologist and has a BA (Psychology and Education); an MA (First Class Hons in Psychology); a Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology, and a Masters in Business Administration (with Distinction).

Three consortia in the running for new prison at Wiri

nullThe three consortia in the running to build and operate New Zealand’s first public private partnership (PPP) prison at Wiri were announced in February.

Each consortium is led by a prison operator working in partnership with a construction partner, design team, banks and other investors, and specialist service providers.

The lead members of the three short-listed consortia are:

GLM Consortium:

  • G4S
  • Mainzeal Property and Construction Limited
  • Leighton Contractors

Secure Future Consortium:

  • Serco
  • Fletcher Construction
  • Spotless Services NZ Limited
  • ACC
  • John Laing Investments Limited

NZCS Consortium: 

  • The Geo Group
  • Hawkins Construction Limited 
  • Honeywell Limited 
  • Capella Capital

“We’re pleased to see a strong NZ presence in the consortia – with all three having a NZ construction partner. In addition to the lead members, each consortium has already brought on board a number of other firms and advisors – many of whom are NZ based,” says PPP Project Director Jeremy Lightfoot.

“We are expecting the announcement of the shortlisted consortia to encourage local businesses to show an interest in being involved in this innovative venture.”

The proposed new 960 bed men’s prison will be a major design and construction project in the Auckland region. There will be significant economic benefits to the local community with the project development and build, and then ongoing operation of the prison expected to sustain in the order of 1,900 jobs in the region. In total, the construction and maintenance of the prison will inject approximately $100 million in wages and salaries for construction sector workers over the lifetime of the project. Approximately $1.2 billion will be added to the Auckland region’s economy over the next 30 years.

Public safety is Corrections’ key consideration. One of the ways we can improve this is by utilising international expertise in prisoner management and rehabilitation. The majority of prisoners will return to the community at some point; this project is part of our focus on preparing prisoners for release with a range of rehabilitative programmes.

“The Department is always working to improve rehabilitation and prison management,” says Jeremy.

“The ongoing benefit of a PPP approach is that improvements and innovation can then be adopted at other prison sites around the country.”

A Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued to the three consortia in early March. Corrections expects the final contract to be in place by July 2012.

Prison smoking ban coming soon

Corrections is just months away from the implnullementation of the prison smoking ban on 1 July.

Undeniably, this change will be a significant challenge for many prisoners, staff and prison visitors, such as volunteers and  contractors. Corrections is working closely with staff, unions and prisoners to ensure the best possible outcome.

Before the ban was announced in July last year, around 67 percent of prisoners (5,600 prisoners) smoked. Over the last six
months more than 1,700 prisoners have started using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) patches and lozenges to help them quit. This is a good sign that prisoners are aware of the ban and are taking a proactive step to quit before the ban comes into effect.

All prisons have an implementation plan and are undertaking a number of initiatives in preparation for the ban, including setting up
voluntary smoke free units. Five voluntary smoke free units are up and running – one at Manawatu Prison, one at Otago Corrections Facility and three at Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility.

Fact sheets, posters and pamphlets about the ban and the support on offer continue to be widely distributed to prisoners and their visitors.  As another way to raise awareness of the ban and the benefits of being smoke free, a staff and prisoner poster competition for World Smoke Free Day on 31 May has just been announced.

In addition to this, 300 copies of Allen Carr’s book The Easy Way To Stop Smoking have been distributed to all prison libraries for prisoners to borrow. Smoking in prison is a very real health and safety risk to everyone in our prisons. Corrections is committed
to addressing this risk and ensuring that the implementation of the ban is successful.

Busted!

Eagle-eyed staff found these cellphones inside a radio in a prisoner?s cell in Invercargill Prison.Telephone monitoring pays off

Monitoring prisoners’ phone calls can be a laborious task – but here are just three examples of how it pays off:

  • Staff at Wellington Prison discovered that a prisoner was planning for his partner (a banned visitor) to visit him and bring in food during an escorted hospital visit. Following this discovery, the visitor was prohibited for an additional year.
  • At Christchurch Women’s Prison, a prisoner was seen acting suspiciously while making a call on the prisoner payphone. Subsequent monitoring found her trying to obtain a tax refund belonging to another prisoner. IRD have been notified and the prisoner’s calls restricted.
  • At Auckland Central Remand Prison, a staff member noticed suspicious body language from several prisoners in the visiting area. As a result of follow-up monitoring, four prisoners were found to have tried to obtain drugs and will face internal discipline.

Cellphone bonanza

In a routine check at Invercargill Prison, corrections officers discovered two cellphones hidden inside a radio in an offender’s cell. After looking more closely at the phones it became clear that another prisoner was concealing another cellphone in his cell. Following this discovery, the staff did a targeted search after all prisoners were locked-up for the night and found yet another cellphone inside a TV.

New prison entry swipe card for authorised providers

ID swipe cards like this one will soon be introduced to make getting in and out of prisons easier for our authorised providers such as volunteers.A new swipe card will enable authorised volunteers and non-Departmental staff to enter and leave prisons more easily and efficiently.

The card will reduce the workload of gatehouse staff, streamline the entry and exit process for card-holders.

The Authorised Provider Prison Entry system cards will be issued to authorised providers such as volunteers and other non-Departmental staff who come and go from our prisons on a regular basis, such as kaitiaki (tikanga Mäori guardians), kaiwhakamana (Mäori cultural visitors) and fautua Pasefika (Pacific Island cultural visitors).

Assistant General Manager Prison Services Brendan Anstiss says the system will be introduced in all prisons in the country. 

“We expect the new system to improve prison security and reduce time-consuming record keeping.” 

“As well as gatehouse staff and the card-holders themselves, the new system should also benefit our volunteer co-ordinators and
programme staff who manage these groups of providers.

“Approved providers will be issued with a photo ID / swipe card to present each time they enter or leave the prison.  The card will be scanned by a hand-held bar-code reader like the ones at supermarket checkouts. 

“The system will automatically advise prison staff who the person is, allow visual validation of identity, and that they are approved to enter the prison for a genuine purpose,” says Brendan.

The system will have a phased roll-out across prisons (except for Mt Eden Corrections Facility) from the middle of the year.

The big-hearted work

Kaiwhakamana Timoti Samuels ? helping improve prisoners? connectedness to their iwi, wh?nau and culture.Corrections is renewing efforts to improve the way we work with our volunteers, especially kaiwhakamana.

“We rely a great deal on the work our volunteers and kaiwhakamana do. Kaiwhakamana are a group of kaumatua or respected people
from the community who reach out to prisoners, and not just those who are Mäori,” says Russell Caldwell, Manager for Mäori Relationships, Southern region.

“The idea is to help kaiwhakamana improve prisoners’ connectedness to their iwi, whänau and culture,” says Russell.

It is this sense of connectedness that one kaiwhakamana from Upper Hutt, Timoti Samuels describes. “I am not here to do this for me. I am here for anyone who needs help or just someone to talk to and listen.”

Timoti has been a kaiwhakamana for the past two years and he really enjoys the time spent with different prisoners, especially when
they start sharing with him stories about small changes they are making to their lives.

Like many volunteers, Timoti does more than his Wednesday visits to Rimutaka Prison, he also goes to the hospice in Lower Hutt and has brought up three kids who are not his own.

Timoti is just one of the many highly valued kaiwhakamana who volunteer around the country at our prisons. So making the process easier for kaiwhakamana is commonsense.

Russell and his team in the Southern region are doing just that. Russell says work is going on to find ways to strengthen prisoners’ access to kaiwhakamana. Key to this is helping staff build their knowledge and confidence in involving kaiwhakamana to support rehabilitation and reintegration efforts.

In February, the first of a series of kaiwhakamana workshops was held at Maraeroa Marae in Porirua. Kaiwhakamana participants from Arohata, Rimutaka and Wellington prisons listened to and discussed ideas with Corrections staff.

Mike Sweeney Southern Area Adviser has seen first-hand the positive impact kaiwhakamana can have on the lives of prisoners. “Give a man a fish and he will feed his family for one day – teach a man to fish and he can feed his family for a lifetime. Kaiwhakamana help motivate prisoners and give them confidence to take control of their own destinies.”

Incorporating age into sex offender risk assessments

What's new in the literature?

By David Riley, Chief Adviser Psychological Services

To assess the risk of a sex offender committing another sex-related crime, most practitioners use a checklist called the Static 99.

However, while it was generally believed that the age of the offender is significant in determining their level of risk, no systematic way of incorporating age into the Static 99, or other sex offender risk assessments, had been developed.

This meant that risk for younger sex offenders was always underestimated, while the risk for older sex offenders was always artificially inflated.

In a recent publication*, however, Departmental Psychologist Alex Skelton and his academic colleagues in the USA and Australia
have solved this problem.Skelton and his colleagues did this by combining data from both the extensive sex offender database of 5,880 offence histories which had been used to develop the New Zealand risk measure, and a further data set of 3,425 offenders used in the development and validation of the Static 99.

They could then, using this very large set of data (9,305 sex offender histories), reliably calculate the effect of the offender’s age on their risk of re-offending. In addition to providing valuable guidance to policy makers and practitioners in other countries, the findings
from this research will enable Corrections to more accurately assess risk and recommend appropriate management strategies for sex offenders.

_________________________


*Wollert R., Cramer E., Waggoner J., Skelton A., Vess J. (2010). Recent research (N = 9,305) underscores the importance of using age-stratified actuarial tables in sex offender risk assessments, Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 22, 471 490.

New Community Probation Services Centre for Richmond

L-R Corrections Deputy Chief Executive Christine Stevenson, ServiceA new Community Probation Services Centre opened in Richmond, south-west of Nelson, in February.

Service Manager Alex Brown says the opening means offenders from Richmond and surrounding areas such as Wakefield and Brightwater will no longer have to travel to Nelson to report to their probation officer or attend a rehabilitation programme.

“Because they don’t have to travel so far, offenders are more likely to report in as required, and offenders who comply with their sentences are also less likely to re-offend,” she says.

Alex also hopes to benefit the local community with an increased emphasis on community work projects in the area. 

“Offenders serving community work sentences have already been doing great work in Richmond, such as regular maintenance work at the Richmond Showgrounds and at a number of local schools during weekends and school holidays.

“Now we’ve opened I’m very keen to hear from anyone who works for a non-profit group, or any local who’s noticed a local walkway
or park is getting overgrown or needs tidying.

Alex says offenders serving community work sentences are always carefully supervised and can take on any work such as building fences and playgrounds, painting buildings, cleaning graffiti, chopping firewood, digging gardens, moving rubbish and planting trees.

The Service Centre contains staff workspace, a programme delivery room, offender interview rooms, space for storing tools and equipment for community work, and parking.

Minister's column

Minister Judith Collins (front row, second from left) with staff at the Community Probation Services Centre at Winston Ave in Christchurch.Tuesday 22 February 2011will forever live in the hearts of New Zealanders as one of the most traumatic and tragic days in our nation’s
history.

The strength of a nation’s character is often measured in terms of the response of its people in the aftermath of tragedy. In this respect,e staff of Corrections – in Christchurch and around the country – can be extremely proud of the contribution they made at this difficult time.

The Department was able to very quickly step in and provide a range of essential supplies and services to the people of Christchurch.

Staff across Christchurch, and throughout the country went the extra mile to provide help where and when it was needed.

CIE staff organised the assembly and distribution of welfare packs to Departmental staff and ration packs to the community and volunteers, as well as a significant number of hot meals that were delivered to the suburbs via the Rangiora Express.

Psychologists provided counselling services to staff and the public, and are continuing to work with other agencies to attend to
the needs of the community.

The Department has also provided much needed supplies into Christchurch in the form of toiletry packs, hand sanitiser and water containers.

Many expressions of appreciation and thanks have been received from individuals and other organisations for these efforts.

Corrections staff worked very hard to ensure space was available at Rolleston Prison should it have been needed to accommodate Civil Defence personnel immediately after the earthquake.

Staff also created temporary accommodation for Courts to operate at Christchurch Men’s Prison, as well as the provision of overflow Police cell space for Police if required.

Community Probation Services have done an extremely good job of keeping the community safe by identifying and managing our offenders in the community.

I visited Christchurch Men’s and Christchurch Women’s prisons on 3 March. It was inspiring to see the effort being made to return to business as usual where possible with programmes being delivered in prisons and prisoners on release to work.

We shouldn’t forget that many of our people from Christchurch suffered damage to their homes or disruption to their lives during the quake.

Yet every day they showed up to work, to help others in need. I think this speaks volumes about the sort of people who serve in Corrections.

This will be a long and slow rebuilding process. Our challenge is to look after each other in the coming months and to continue to provide the best Corrections service that we possibly can.

 

Judith Collins
Minister of Corrections

Making the right choice

Psychologist Gahan Joughin, Senior Psychologists Zoe Wilton and Liz Waugh and Psychologist Sonja Bakker at a team planning meeting in Liz?s lounge because they can?t meet at their Christchurch office due to earthquake damage.Growing up, Psychologist Liz Waugh saw glimpses of what life is like if you make the wrong choices. “My father was a youth
aid officer with the New Zealand Police so many of my early impressions of crime came from his dealings with young people.”

“I realised early on that it came down to choices. Most of us develop the tools to help us choose right from wrong, but at Corrections we deal with many clients who don’t have that ability. Too often the one tool they have in their toolbox is violence or aggression.” For Liz her role is about adding tools to that toolbox.

A born and bred Cantabrian, Liz studied psychology at Canterbury University, concluding with an internship with Corrections in 1997.
Since then, she has held roles both in and outside Corrections, working in the field of adolescent mental health, alcohol and drug
counselling and a period at Insight Rehabilitation that sparked her interest in neuropsychology, which explores the relationship between
the brain and behaviour. In 2009 she returned to Corrections.

“Working as a Corrections Psychologist allows me the chance to perhaps make a difference in the wider community, both in risk
assessment for the public, and working directly with offenders.” But don’t confuse this altruism with naivety; “The reality is that only
very rarely do you get some big epiphany. What’s more likely is that the treatment and support we offer are just a step in a long process and it’s unrealistic to expect a dramatic change in someone.”

Liz is usually based in Christchurch’s Peterborough office, which has closed due to earthquake damage. She has found her usual
role has an additional focus as people cope with the aftermath of the earthquakes; “I usually do a lot of risk assessment with a strong focus on rehabilitation, but we’ve suffered a huge disaster and have the trauma from that to contend with as well.”

As well as helping in welfare centres and in the community, Liz and other Corrections psychologists have been helping clients
from Rolleston Prison, Christchurch Men’s and Christchurch Women’s Prison, and those serving community-based sentences. “Just like other Cantabrians, many of our clients are feeling vulnerable and powerless. They’re locked up or unable to leave their residences (unless of course their home is unsafe) and they’re genuinely worried about their loved ones. Of course, supporting other staff within the Department is also important at this time. It is crucial to care for ourselves so that we can effectively care for others.”

Making the right choice

Psychologist Gahan Joughin, Senior Psychologists Zoe Wilton and Liz Waugh and Psychologist Sonja Bakker at a team planning meeting in Liz?s lounge because they can?t meet at their Christchurch office due to earthquake damage.Growing up, Psychologist Liz Waugh saw glimpses of what life is like if you make the wrong choices. “My father was a youth
aid officer with the New Zealand Police so many of my early impressions of crime came from his dealings with young people.”

“I realised early on that it came down to choices. Most of us develop the tools to help us choose right from wrong, but at Corrections we deal with many clients who don’t have that ability. Too often the one tool they have in their toolbox is violence or aggression.” For Liz her role is about adding tools to that toolbox.

A born and bred Cantabrian, Liz studied psychology at Canterbury University, concluding with an internship with Corrections in 1997.Since then, she has held roles both in and outside Corrections, working in the field of adolescent mental health, alcohol and drug
counselling and a period at Insight Rehabilitation that sparked her interest in neuropsychology, which explores the relationship between
the brain and behaviour. In 2009 she returned to Corrections.

“Working as a Corrections Psychologist allows me the chance to perhaps make a difference in the wider community, both in risk assessment for the public, and working directly with offenders.” But don’t confuse this altruism with naivety; “The reality is that only
very rarely do you get some big epiphany. What’s more likely is that the treatment and support we offer are just a step in a long process and it’s unrealistic to expect a dramatic change in someone.”

Liz is usually based in Christchurch’s Peterborough office, which has closed due to earthquake damage. She has found her usual
role has an additional focus as people cope with the aftermath of the earthquakes; “I usually do a lot of risk assessment with a strong focus on rehabilitation, but we’ve suffered a huge disaster and have the trauma from that to contend with as well.”

As well as helping in welfare centres and in the community, Liz and other Corrections psychologists have been helping clients
from Rolleston Prison, Christchurch Men’s and Christchurch Women’s Prison, and those serving community-based sentences. “Just like other Cantabrians, many of our clients are feeling vulnerable and powerless. They’re locked up or unable to leave their residences (unless of course their home is unsafe) and they’re genuinely worried about their loved ones. Of course, supporting other staff within the Department is also important at this time. It is crucial to care for ourselves so that we can effectively care for others.”

Contact details

Corrections News is published bi-monthly by the Department of Corrections:

Postal: Private Box 1206 Wellington 6140.

Ph: (04) 460 3365

Email: commdesk@corrections.govt.nz