After completing a Bachelor of Criminal Justice, Dubbo’s Ellen Pascoe couldn’t decide whether to become a police officer or parole officer.
She eventually chose the latter and is this week one of 10,000 Corrective Services NSW staff celebrated on National Corrections Day for her commitment to reducing reoffending.
The Dubbo Community Corrections officer has only been in the job for two years and in that time has put numerous offenders on the path to rehabilitation.
“I like working with people and being a parole officer is more welfare-based and about helping people, rather than being in police, which is more about locking them up,” she says.
“I’ve had a few cases that I would describe as big successes and they are with offenders that I’ve been working with for a long time.
“One was an offender who came from a very traumatic background and was living in an isolated area before he came to Dubbo.
“Now he has his own unit and is engaged in tertiary education, a goal I believe would have not been achieved without the assistance of Community Corrections and our interagency programs.”
The 2021 National Corrections Day theme is Working together to reduce reoffending, focusing on the ways corrections staff assist offenders with programs, education, promoting a good workplace culture and positive interactions.
Ellen, 27, says the key to reducing reoffending is getting people to address their offending behaviour and learn how to make better decisions.
“Rehabilitating these men and women is the sole focus of my role,” she says.
“I do that by assisting offenders to develop management plans and recognise that thoughts, choices and actions are linked together. This will hopefully guide them in making better decisions in the future.
“Behaviour change is not an easy task, so from the beginning we set clear boundaries and steps around what we aim to achieve. Then we have the offender comment on what may be hard to achieve and we assist them with overcoming any perceived barriers.
“It can be a rollercoaster ride to get there, however our staff work hard at this each day and I am proud to be a part of that journey.”
CSNSW includes about 5,000 custodial officers, 1,800 Community Corrections staff, 750 industries workers, 720 psychologists and programs officers and 1,170 Security and Intelligence staff.
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