Senior Correctional Officer
30 years with Corrective Services NSW
For Barry Butterfield, wearing his blue Corrective Services uniform is the best feeling ever, particularly with his fellow staff, on a day to day basis.
The Senior Correctional Officer has spent 30 years on the job at one of the toughest prisons in the state, Goulburn Correctional Centre, as well as working at Berrima Gaol.
"It's definitely tough at Goulburn because you're dealing with some of the worst offenders in the system – they're violent and some have committed serious offences," he says.
"The public might think we're too hard on the criminals but people need to actually understand what we do.
"An inmate might be assaulting another inmate and our staff are running in to save that person, putting our lives on the line.
"That's just part of our job. There's also a lot of compassion and understanding that needs to go into our work."
Mr Butterfield joined the ranks after a suggestion from his father-in-law who was a prison officer. Mr Butterfield's son also started working for CSNSW in 2016.
Having spent time in the Immediate Action Team, a specialised group of officers who respond to major incidents, and other roles, Mr Butterfield currently works in the reception area where offenders first arrive at Goulburn Correctional Centre to be inducted.
"It has changed a lot in my time on the job. You now see offenders coming into custody on the drug, ice. They're more violent than the inmates on heroin and cannabis," he says.
"They might be smashing their head against the wall and you've got to go into the cell and help stop it and refer them to the appropriate medical services."
Mr Butterfield says good communication and teamwork is vital to deal with incidents in prison.
"I was in charge of the Immediate Action Team during a riot in 2014," he says.
"We had been negotiating with the inmates to leave the yard and return to their cells. They refused and chemical munitions were deployed. Within five minutes, staff entered and the inmates returned to their cells.
"It was a perfect example of staff working together.
"No two days are the same and that's what is great about the job. But you must be switched on all the time."
Work for CSNSW