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Wagga Wagga Community Corrections Officer
Six years with Corrective Services NSW
Giving people another chance at a positive life is what inspires Community Corrections Officer Mark Bolton.
The officer from Wagga Wagga, in the Riverina, assists offenders every day to address their offending behaviour and undertakes a variety of tasks including determining whether to refer them to an alcohol and drug program or link them to housing or other services.
"Our job is not to punish the offenders but to ensure that they complete their court order and help stop them from reoffending," Mark says.
"We treat everyone as a unique individual with their own issues and based on our assessments, we direct them to a program or service that suits their needs.
"Some of the programs address domestic violence or drug and alcohol issues and sometimes we need to refer them to external providers such as NSW Housing or health services."
The 49-year-old completed a degree in social welfare and previously worked in the juvenile justice system, including the Northern Territory child protection unit. He has also worked at the Community Corrections office in Tumut, in the Riverina.
He says despite the challenges, he finds the job rewarding.
"Working in a small community, I often see people that have previously been in programs that I've facilitated," he says.
"I've been pulled up in the street to be thanked.
"When you see someone out in the community who has changed their life, it makes you feel that the work you're doing is worthwhile."
Community Corrections staff also work closely with other stakeholders including NSW Police.
"That association is very close, particularly in regional corrections offices, when ensuring the safety of the community," Mark says.
Outside of work, Mr Bolton enjoys cooking, following sports and is an avid walker, clocking up about a marathon of walking each week.
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