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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Union claims unfounded - GREG PARTRIDGE - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Union claims unfounded - GREG PARTRIDGE - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

ssistant Director of Prisons Greg Partridge today moved to reassure staff about the design and operation of Tasmania’s new prison facilities.

Mr Partridge said the construction project now taking shape on the site was backed by many years of planning and research into best practice in correctional management.

“There’s no doubt that we are entering a new era for the Tasmania Prison Service,” Mr Partridge said.

“On top of the $90 million construction budget, the State Government has given the Prison Service more than $26 million over the next four years to bring Tasmania’s prison system into the 21st Century.

“Custodial officers have also been awarded a significant pay increase, in recognition of the new role they will be asked to play.

“While I’m not sure why it is that the union has left it until now to voice its concerns, I am certainly aware that change of this magnitude is bound to create a feeling of uncertainty for some staff.

“However, the Tasmania Prison Service has an excellent team working hard on the fine details of the move into the new prisons.

“A lot of work has already been done on developing an expanded program of education and work opportunities for inmates, based on formal sentence planning and the introduction of case management.

“Since January 2005 we have recruited an additional 37 custodial officers and we are currently in the process of interviewing for another recruit course this year.

“This week also saw the beginning of more than 3500 training days for all our staff.

“I’m confident that once that’s completed many of the uncertainties that some staff may be feeling will have been cleared up.

“The move to a new prison environment will mean a whole new way of operating, and a whole new skill set for the people who work in it.

“It’s an exciting time, but one that will be challenging as well.”

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