Tauranga South celebrates 130 years of Probation
For immediate release
11 Aug 2016
Tauranga South Community Corrections celebrates 130 years of Probation in NZ
This week the Department of Corrections celebrates the 130th anniversary of probation services in New Zealand.
Much has changed since 1886 when New Zealand was the first country in the world to introduce probation. When the service was first established, there were 18 people placed on probation and by 1949 there were seven full-time probation officers. In 2016 there are 1,200 full-time paid probation officers nationally managing around 30,000 people serving sentences in the community.
Tauranga South Service Centre opened its doors in March 2013 at their current location in Chadwick Road, Greerton after moving from temporary accommodation.
A total of 35 probation officers, senior community work supervisors, community work supervisors, managers and administrators work at the site help to manage 426 people on a range of sentences in the community from across the Tauranga and Mount Maunganui area.
Of those it manages, 58 percent have a Community Work sentence and 16 percent have been sentenced to Supervision; 78 percent are male and 24 percent are aged under 25.
Service Manager Karen van der Zee highlights the important role that Community Corrections play locally:
“The Greerton Service Centre liaises with a number of local community groups, NGOs and iwi to ensure the best outcomes for the offenders. Support has been offered to local marae and foodbank in regards to our innovative garden within the probation grounds and our on-going work and living skills projects.”
Community Corrections holds people to account while providing opportunities to make positive changes which will reduce the risk of re-offending. Some of the opportunities offered by Tauranga South Service Centre include: Work and Living Skills Programmes, rehabilitation programmes, and employment, education and training support.
Work and Living Skills training involves everyday skills that offenders need to successfully return to their community, live an offence free life, and help them to find and keep a job.
“This year 426 offenders have completed 33,314 community work hours with 3,262 being in Work and Living Skills programmes and 11,332 hours delivered for rehabilitation intervention,” says Karen.
“We have recently developed Te Rongoa Work and Living Skills programme that focuses on Tikanga Māori and traditional healing through native flora and fauna. This fits in with the probation garden that was developed two years ago to teach offenders how to grow their own produce, while surplus has been sent to both the Women’s Refuge and the Tauranga Foodbank.”
The Department of Corrections is currently recruiting across all frontline roles. If you think you would like to work as a Probation Officer, Corrections Officer, Case Manager, Programme Facilitator, or Instructor check out the website here:http://frontlinejobs.corrections.govt.nz/
Corrections’ Central Region covers a large geographic area from just north of Te Kauwhata to just south of Turangi stretching across the widest part of New Zealand. The Corrections’ Central Region includes more than 20 Community Corrections sites and three prisons (Tongariro Prison, Waikeria Prison and Spring Hill Corrections Facility) across three Districts: Bay of Plenty, Waikato, and Rotorua/Taupo/Tokoroa.
Nationally each week the Department of Corrections manage over 35,000 sentences and orders in the community and over 9,000 people in prison. Our 8,000 staff are committed to supporting offenders to help them address their offending and gain skills that will help them lead a crime-free life.