Extended transcript

Transcript of Rebecca and Moses talking about their work as senior corrections officers - extended clip

Rebecca: We do a lot of work with every offender from the moment they come through the door. It's about building relationships with these offenders, being a positive role model, assisting them to get through their sentence, achieve what is set out for them on their offender plan, encouraging and motivating them to attend programmes, to upskill. Being there for support when things go a bit hairy. The biggest thing is working within a team and getting the job done, making sure that everybody goes home safely at the end of the day.

Moses: There's a range of roles for COs in the jail. There's low-medium units, high-medium units, remand, therapy. There's a receiving office. There's at-risk units. There's a Maori focus unit.

Rebecca: So the average day for me: we turn up, we have our keys and radios issued for us. We have a morning briefing so we know what's been happening in the jail. Then, we go down to our unit, do a general unlock. We have breakfast parade, get prisoners off to work, programmes. Throughout the day, we deal with paperwork and making sure the prisoners' issues and needs are met. Then, we lock them down for lunch. At all times, we're doing musters, making sure we know where our prisoners are. Doing our cell searches, doing our cell inspections, interacting with the prisoners if there's anything they need us to tend to, if they've got any issues.

Moses: My background is Samoan. A lot of these guys that are in here, we had similar upbringings and that sort of helped me get along with some of the guys here. It's very important for me as a role model.

Rebecca: The offenders that are in here are not all that bad. They're just other members of society that have done something, and the circumstances have led them to prison. I don't think I've ever had a time where I've felt unsafe, where someone's wanted to kill me or strangle me or hit me over the head. There have been times when things do get a bit ugly, but it's unbelievable how fast the staff are there to support you.

Moses: I'm grateful to have a job. And, we get to come in and work with guys that I like, I enjoy working with, because I love having a good team. Sometimes, you don't realize you're actually getting paid, and then that rubs off on the units you're working in, or the prisoners. If they see you're happy, all of a sudden, they're happy. 90% of the time, they're happy.
Rebecca: I get to see the change in prisoners. I get to see how elated they are when they pass a course and they bring a certificate and show me how well they've done. I get to be part of their rehabilitation, their path to lead them to a better life.

Moses: To me, it is something you can be proud of. It's just that we're hidden. We're the Secret Service.