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Corrections Victoria offers a broad range of opportunities in both Custodial Services and Community Correctional Services. Key roles include prison officer, community corrections officer and field officer.
Corrections Victoria also provides employment opportunities at both its head office and in prisons and Community Correctional Services offices for a wide range of Victorian Public Service administrative positions such as program and project officers, records officers and executive assistants.
Applications are now open for Senior Clinicians and Clinicians to join the team that actively contributes to offender management programs. If you are interested in applying for these positions, visit www.justice.vic.gov.au/cliniciancareers (External link)and click 'APPLY NOW' to complete an online application. Applications close at midnight on Sunday, 6 December 2015.
Watch this video to see what Corrections Victoria staff have to say about working in correctional occupations:
Search all current vacancies at the Department of Justice & Regulation at Justice Careers (External link)
Corrections Victoria periodically facilitates public information sessions where prospective applicants can learn about positions in community correctional services (community corrections officers and field officers) and custodial services (prison officers). Details of these positions and dates of upcoming information sessions can be found on the Corrections Victoria Jobs website (External link)
See below for specific careers-related information:
Prison officers are responsible for the day-to-day supervision of prisoners in the prison environment while also maintaining good order and the security of the prison. This is achieved through searches, escort duties, observing and assessing prisoner behaviour, operating security equipment and effectively responding to prison incidents. The role also involves collating information, writing case files and preparing a variety of reports.
Prison officers are also responsible for contributing to prisoner rehabilitation, encouraging prisoners to establish goals for themselves and to begin engaging in positive behavioural change.
Prison officers provide prisoners with leadership, advice, support and guidance. Being a positive role model, having a positive impact on the prisoner’s lives, and seeing prisoner behaviour change for the better can be very rewarding for a prison officer.
The Victorian Government has made a commitment to implement various parole system reforms that have resulted in a number of roles being required to support the parole stream.
Principal Practitioners require broad and extensive case management expertise for oversight of case management practices and the capability to provide effective staff supervision, training and mentoring across a mixed portfolio. This is a key position in the Community Correctional Services (CCS) management structure, providing supervision of case managers who are monitoring prisoners on parole and offenders subject to post-sentence supervision.
The position provides advice and consultation in relation to identified offender risk escalation behaviours, incident management and quality assurance practices and processes. This level of oversight occurs in close consultation with relevant Regional General Managers (GM), Operations Managers (OM), clinical experts and staff from Corrections Victoria’s (CV) Head Office.
The Principal Practitioner works closely and collaboratively with a range of internal and external stakeholders, including the Adult Parole Board, Victoria Police, Corrections Victoria's Major Offenders Unit, CV's Sex Offender Management Branch, Parole Central Oversight Unit, Corella Place, Regional Directors (RD), CCS and prison GMs.
The following two testimonials are from current Corrections Victorian principal practitioners.
“Eight years ago, I joined Corrections Victoria as a prison officer. I saw the role as an opportunity to start a new career in an area that provided stability and the scope to progress. My background before commencing with Corrections Victoria was in the hospitality industry. While they seem to be quite different industries, I found that I actually did have relevant, transferable skills, such as people management, communication and problem-solving.
I have since moved into the community correctional services area as a principal practitioner. It is a challenging role where I supervise staff who work with some of the State’s most complex prisoners on parole and offenders, and I also enjoy developing their skills. The role has taught me to consider the ‘big picture’ and I am very conscious of how my actions and the actions of my staff affect the community – you can really make a difference.
Through my involvement in this field, my friends and family have developed an understanding about the way the Department of Justice promotes safety in the community and the role I play in community protection.
My natural qualities and approaches to dealing with people often produce positive results from prisoners on parole and offenders.
Over time, I have learned that this role requires leadership, integrity, empathy, open-mindedness, optimism and resilience.
I have certainly found it to be an enjoyable and rewarding career.”
“I have 10 years experience in the field of corrections, having worked as a team leader in both youth justice and child protection. I choose to work in this field because I want to support positive changes for prisoners on parole and adult offenders, as well as for the community.
Now, as a principal practitioner, I am still involved in case management, but more so in the development of my team, who have regular contact with offenders. Managing this team is very rewarding as each of them brings different strengths and skills, offering experience and knowledge, which means that we can do the best job we can.
I am very interested in people and how they arrive at where they are now and how different circumstances and opportunities affect their lives. My friends and family are always interested in what I do.
One of the great things about being a principal practitioner is the variety of opportunities available for further training and development.
I believe that leadership, resilience, professionalism, patience and confidence are vital qualities in this role. There are constant challenges to face and you must remain open-minded in order to deal with them. Offending behaviour needs to be addressed in a humane, sustainable and logical way.”
If you are interested in this opportunity or any other career within parole, all current vacancies at the Department of Justice are listed at www.careers.vic.gov.au (External link)
Community corrections officers (CCOs) monitor and supervise offenders who have been sentenced by the courts to serve Community Correction Orders or who have been released from prison on parole by the Adult Parole Board.
CCOs undertake a wide range of duties to assist in the case management of offenders in the community.
Typically, CCOs are assigned a caseload of offenders to manage and will be responsible for ensuring that offenders comply with the conditions of the court or Parole Order.
Field officers typically work on a fixed-term, part-time or casual basis. They may work as little as one to two days per fortnight or three to five days per week, depending on the requirements of the location.
The role of a field officer primarily includes non office-based work, in which field officers are responsible for supervising offenders in the community as they complete community work hours on various work sites, mandated as part of their Community Correction Order. Field officers ensure tasks are conducted in accordance with Occupational Health and Safety regulations. They work on their own supervising a work team of up to 12 offenders.
Acting as key role models in their work, field officers must represent the department in a professional and ethical manner at all times and promote the rehabilitative benefits of community work programs to offenders in order to enhance community safety.
In Victoria, prison health services are contracted out to third-party health service providers. Corrections Victoria does not directly recruit or employ medical staff.
If you are interested in working in prisons in a medical role (such as a nurse, doctor, medical officer or mental health worker), contact the health service providers listed below:
- GEO Group (External link) provides primary health and mental health services at Fulham Correctional Centre
- Correct Care Australasia (External link) (a subsidiary of GEO Group) provides primary health services at all public prisons and at the Judy Lazarus Transition Centre
- Forensicare (Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health) (External link) provides secondary mental health services at all public prisons. This includes the management and provision of services within the Acute Assessment Unit at the Melbourne Assessment Prison and the Marrmak Unit at the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre. Forensicare also provides mental health services for involuntary patients at Thomas Embling Hospital, including patients transferred from prison
Qualified medical staff provide on-site health care in every prison. The quality and standard of health care provided to prisoners is the same as that provided in the community through the public health system.
If you are interested in working in prisons in a health role, contact the health service providers listed below:
- St Vincent’s Correctional Health Services (External link) provides primary health services, outpatient mental health services and secondary residential mental health services (through St Paul’s Psycho-Social Unit) at Port Phillip Prison
- St Thomas’s Unit provides outpatient consultation
- St Vincent's Correctional Health Services also provides statewide secondary inpatient health services delivered through St John's at Port Phillip Prison and secondary and tertiary inpatient services from St Vincent’s Hospital
- Caraniche (External link) provides alcohol and other drug treatment programs at all public prisons. GEO Group provides alcohol and drug treatment programs at Fulham Correctional Centre and G4S provides similar programs at Port Phillip Prison
Find out more about prison health care.
Clinicians working within Offending Behaviour Programs, the Sex Offender Program and Disability Services provide offence specific and related interventions to prisoners and offenders across the public prisons and Community Correctional Services (CCS) system. All interventions aim to reduce an offender's risk of reoffending. Using a largely cognitive-behavioural approach, interventions range from intensive therapeutic group programs to shorter psycho-educational programs and individual treatment. Clinicians – who are usually registered psychologists or social workers – also provide comprehensive assessment, case consultancy, and participate in various other activities.
The Guidelines relating to clinical roles and student placements provide useful information about working in this area.
If you are interested in working in prisons or CCS as a psychologist or social worker, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Corrections Victoria currently contracts six technical and further education (TAFE) providers to deliver education and training across 13 prison locations. Corrections Victoria does not directly employ teachers.
The six TAFE providers employ all teaching staff working within prisons and deliver a range of education and vocational training across Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) levels Foundation to Certificate IV.
Education and training areas can include information technology, hospitality, construction, Certificate of General Education for Adults, transport and logistics, horticulture, engineering, licences (e.g. forklift and Construction Induction Card) and small business management. The courses provided vary from prison to prison.
If you are interested in working in prisons in a teaching or training role, contact the TAFE providers listed below:
- Kangan Institute (External link) delivers within four prisons in North-West Metro region – Melbourne Assessment Prison, Metropolitan Reception Centre, Dame Phillip Frost Centre and Port Phillip Prison
- Bendigo TAFE (External link) delivers within two prisons in Loddon Mallee region – Loddon Prison and Tarrengower Prison
- GOTAFE (External link) delivers within two prisons in Hume region – Beechworth Correctional Centre and Dhurringile Prison
- The Gordon (External link) delivers within one prison in Barwon South West Region – Barwon Prison
- Advance TAFE (External link) delivers within two prisons – Marngoneet Correctional Centre in Barwon South West region and Fulham Correctional Centre in Gippsland region
- University of Ballarat (External link) delivers within two prisons in Grampians region – Hopkins Correctional Centre (formerly known as Ararat Prison) and Langi Kal Kal Prison
If you identify as being an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, your information will be sent to the department’s Koori Employment Team who will assist HOBAN Recruitment with various aspects of the selection process.
Entry-level prison officer roles are based in both metropolitan and regional prisons across Victoria. Individual prison locations will advertise vacancies throughout the year, and successful candidates will receive pre-service training prior to commencement in the role. Other roles within Custodial Services include Aboriginal wellbeing and liaison officers, who provide Aboriginal prisoners with ongoing support regarding their welfare and wellbeing and help them to maintain links with their families, Aboriginal community organisations and other relevant groups. Aboriginal wellbeing and liaison officers provide culturally-appropriate support to Aboriginal prisoners and advocate on their behalf when required.
Community correctional services
Entry-level community corrections officer and field officer roles are based in both metropolitan and regional locations and statewide vacancies are advertised several times a year. Additional roles include Indigenous-leading community corrections officers, who provide culturally appropriate guidance and counselling to Indigenous offenders and assist them to participate in programs and community work and developing strong linkages with Indigenous agencies.
Under a VCAT exemption ruling, these roles must be filled by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people. To find out more about these roles and the recruitment process, please call the department’s Koori Employment Team on 03 8684 1751.
Corrections Victoria provides student placements for tertiary students. Placements are unpaid and can vary in length from two weeks to a full semester (14 weeks or longer).
Students interested in undertaking student placement at a Community Correctional Services office should contact directly the nearest office to where they live. A list of these locations can be accessed here: CCS Locations
Corrections Victoria considers applications on a case-by-case basis. All applicants are required to undergo a Criminal History Check.
Please note: Corrections Victoria does not offer paid part-time work for tertiary students who are studying criminal justice or other related courses.
Corrections Victoria does not offer placements for secondary school students.
Opportunities for university graduates are offered through the Victorian Government’s graduate programs. For further information about available opportunities and how to apply, go to Victorian Government graduate opportunities (External link)
Health and education
Health and education services in Victorian prisons are provided by non-government organisations. Graduates wishing to find out about graduate programs for health (medical and mental health) or education services should contact the provider directly.
Students and graduates may also wish to approach the following non-government organisations working with offenders: