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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.
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 Australia Pty Ltd (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 email@example.com
Corrections Victoria currently contracts three Technical and Further Education (TAFE) providers and Dual Sector Universities to deliver education and training across 13 prison locations. Corrections Victoria does not directly employ teachers.
The three 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 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 or Dual Sector University providers listed below:
Bendigo Kangan Institute - https://www.kangan.edu.au/(External link)
- Delivers within three prisons in the Loddon Mallee Region – Loddon Prison and Middleton Annexe, Tarrengower Prison
- Delivers to the two private prisons – Fulham Correction Centre and Port Phillip Prison
Box Hill Institute - http://www.boxhill.edu.au/(External link)
- Delivers within three prisons in the North-West Metro Region – Melbourne Assessment Prison, Metropolitan Remand Centre and Dame Phyllis Frost Centre
- Delivers within three prisons in the Barwon South West Region – Barwon Prison, Marngoneet Correctional Centre and Karreenga Annexe
- Delivers within two prisons in the Hume Region – Beechworth Correctional Centre and Dhurringile Prison
Federation University - http://federation.edu.au/(External link)
- Delivers within two prisons in the Grampians Region – Hopkins Correctional Centre and Langi Kal Kal Prison
Community Correctional Services (CCS) provides a meaningful and beneficial student placement program focused on case management roles and functions within the Court Case Management Stream. The CCS Student Placement Program involves a scaffolded learning process within a dynamic and exciting environment working with involuntary clients serving community based dispositions (Court Orders). Students will engage in a wide range of tasks in an observational and supporting capacity.
Tasks include but are not limited to following the progression of various cases, observing and reflecting on offender interactions and assisting with file management and administrative work. There may be opportunities within this placement to gain insight into other CCS Streams such as Parole and Specialist Practice, Court Assessment and Prosecutions Service, and Community Work and Partnerships.
Eligibility and suitability for a CCS Student Placement position
CCS is seeking students who are passionate about working with complex clientel using a holistic and strengths based approach to case management. A preferred candidate for the student placement program will be dedicated to motivating involuntary clients toward positive change with a view to reducing their risk of recidivism.
Students who are eligible for this program must:
- be studying a recognised qualification (see ‘CCS Qualifications list’ below)
- be prepared to commit to a placement of 200 hours or more
- commit to 3-5 working days per week (Monday to Friday)
- be endorsed by a Work Integrated Learning Coordinator or Educator at their institution
A successful candidate for the student placement program will:
- have high level communication skills (written and verbal)
- have high level organisation and time management skills
- be resillient and will practice self-care, and
- be hard working and take initiative during the course of their placement.
Application and endorsement
Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Coordinators/ Educators at institutions providing a recognised qualification must first assess the suitability of interested students, using the position description attached. Once the WIL Coordinator/ Educator is satisfied that the student is a suitable candidate for the position, they will provide the student with a signed endorsement form which is to be uploaded with the student’s application. The WIL Coordinator will then provide the student with the link to the online application directly to the student.
- Applications received outside this process will not be accepted
- Do not contact CCS locations directly when seeking a student placement
- This placement is a practical placement, not a research based placement
- 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 provide student placements within the Prison system
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)
CCS Graduate Entry Pathway
There is no CCS Graduate Placement Program for 2018, but a new program will commence in 2019. The 2018 CCS Student Placement Program is the only pathway to the 2019 CCS Graduate Program. Students seeking entry to the 2019 CCS Graduate Program will need to apply for the 2018 CCS Student Placement position.
Only students who have completed the student placement program successfully and been nominated by their student placement coordinator will be eligible to apply for a highly competitive CCS Graduate position. Further details on the 2019 CCS Graduate Program will be provided to students completing the 2018 CCS Student Placement Program.
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: