Last Thursday marked the first anniversary of the opening of Australia’s largest and most advanced correctional centre, now accommodating 1,110 inmates.
Clarence Correctional Centre (CLA), operated and maintained by Serco on behalf of the NSW Government, is designed to support a rehabilitative approach to justice by providing education, training, and employment pathways for inmates through industry, business, and education partners.
CLA General Manager Glen Scholes said he was proud of his team’s contribution to supporting the NSW Government’s goal of reducing recidivism by five per cent across the state by 2023.
“Our team of more than 500 staff, 64 per cent of whom are Clarence Valley locals, have seen significant achievements over the first year of operations,” Mr Scholes said.
“Staff support each inmate’s individual rehabilitation and reintegration needs by offering employment in areas such as hospitality, horticulture, centre services, and industries.”
In partnership with TAFE NSW and local businesses, qualification opportunities are provided to support inmates in work placement in a variety of industries and future employment opportunities on release.
“More than 20 TAFE courses are running concurrently in the centre with nearly 200 inmates gaining qualifications in areas such as Certificate II in Business and Certificate II in Engineering, fitness, barbering and metal fabrication,” Mr Scholes said
“We also have more than 55 trainees across multiple industry business units, which is a testament to the level of inmate engagement happening across the centre.”
CLA also has numerous programs and cultural initiatives within the centre that have developed strong links to the community, providing pathways and support for inmates upon release.
Over the past year inmates have participated in over 75 programs that focus on their criminogenic, rehabilitation and reintegration needs.
“Our partnerships with Gurehlgam Corporation, Clarence Valley Family and Domestic Violence Committee, Grafton Regional Gallery, Toys Change Lives and Blackrock Industries have been key to strengthening an inmate’s sense of community and belonging, which in turn fosters positive engagement and ultimately a desire to avoid returning to prison,” Mr Scholes said.