Overseer, Grafton Correctional Centre
Three years with Corrective Services NSW
Preston is Grafton Correctional Centre’s Mr Fix-it and Overseer of 15 inmates,
who work in grounds and building maintenance at the prison in northern NSW.
qualified plumber and roofer was self-employed before joining Corrective
Services NSW in 2015, where he now spends his days passing on his tradie skills
spend a lot of time working one-on-one with offenders. In my case, we’re doing
as much maintenance work on the prison and the grounds as we possibly can, and
if something needs to be done I’m the person who gets the call,” Mr Preston
Preston is among the more than 9,000 CSNSW staff being celebrated for their
commitment to community safety on National Corrections Day, Friday 18 January.
34-year-old, who enjoys fishing and camping trips in his leisure time, said
it’s important to have good rapport with inmates when you’re working towards a
Services Industries is a business and we need to get the job done. Some of the
inmates have never worked a day in their life but once they start they end up
enjoying the sense of purpose and productivity that employment provides,” Mr
than being idle while in custody, these inmates are getting a leg-up on the
employment ladder and hopefully discovering a new path for the future.”
Preston says around 134 inmates are housed at the centre, with many of them
gaining certificates, traineeships and qualifications in agriculture,
construction, cabinet making, OH&S, white card, working at heights and
I became an overseer and was on the outside looking in, I guessed that all
inmates were bad. Now I know there are a
lot of good people locked-up, who just did something stupid,” Mr Preston says.
2019 National Corrections Day theme is Working Corrections, focussing on
inmate industries and the work of Community Corrections officers, who supervise
offenders on court-ordered community work.
the state, there are about 650 Corrective Services Industries’ staff, who
oversee inmates undertaking work, training and other qualifications to help
reintegrate them into the community and reduce reoffending.