Supporting our people
Visible leadership embodies the expectation that managers will be strong and active leaders who inspire their teams. Beyond Corrections, visible leadership is about us taking a lead role across the public sector and demonstrating to our partners how we can work together.
Corrections has identified a number of capability risks and challenges, and is taking active steps to manage these. Achieving our goal of reducing re-offending and ensuring a safe corrections system relies largely on the efforts of our frontline staff.
With the increasing number of offenders, ensuring that we have sufficient high-quality frontline staff is our central capability risk and challenge. A focus on our recruitment and training approaches has been underway since 2015, through our Frontline Futures programme. This has lifted our employment brand, broken down barriers for candidates to be appointed across our range of frontline roles, and has halved the time from application to first day on the front line. Further work is planned to increase recruitment levels of staff to additional positions, arising from the increasing prison population.
The second key challenge that Corrections has identified is to further enhance the capability of existing frontline staff to create a safer system and reduce re-offending. The initial training programmes for frontline roles are being progressively reviewed, leading to enhanced preparedness and greater readiness for what are challenging roles. Frontline staff have been participating in training that improves safety and enhances our ability to reduce re-offending. For example, probation officers and case managers are being trained in electronic monitoring, mental health and suicide awareness and addressing pathways to offending. There has been a major rollout of training under the RR25% Boost initiative, which has significantly widened our capability to deliver programmes to offenders. Instructors working within prisons are increasingly qualified to teach prisoners industry skills using embedded literacy techniques, providing prisoners with skills to improve their chances of employment on release. Prison-based staff continue to focus on security, care and rehabilitation.
Corrections has well established and effective talent management and leadership development programmes, which extend across our various leadership levels. Frontline staff and managers are also receiving new and extended training on health and safety.
Capability building in the Pacific
A Commission of Inquiry into the Samoan Corrections Department identified serious issues with the then Prison Services. The Samoan Government has shown a strong commitment to a new approach, including the appointment of a new Commissioner of Prisons and Corrections Services.
We have partnered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to support the new prison service. To do this, our custodial team is working alongside local prison staff at Tafa’igata Prison on the island of Upolu.
A lot has already been achieved – core practice policies have been planned and established, as well as an on-site health clinic. Prisoners are held more securely and entry to the site has been thoroughly overhauled, to admit only approved visitors and to prevent the introduction of contraband.
The Corrections team has been acknowledged by the Commissioners as a significant factor in maintaining safety and security at Samoa’s main prison.