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​Robbie Messitt

Long Bay Parole Unit - Unit Leader

Eight years with Corrective Services NSW

Through his previous work in forensic nursing, Robbie Messitt had been in contact with parole officers working with people who had behavioural and mental issues.

It was seeing the rehabilitative work those officers undertook that motivated the former nurse to join Community Corrections.

"Nursing and Community Corre​ctions are completely different but they also have their similarities because you're trying to help people," Mr Messitt says.

"The difference is that in Community Corrections, we are trying to address criminogenic needs.

"We learn to understand where people come from and their life story."

The 38-year-old says Community Corrections Officers complete a variety of tasks including assessing offenders for community-based orders, reporting back to the courts, implementing case plans and working with various stakeholders.

Mr Messitt, who moved to Australia from the Republic of Ireland in 2004, has also worked at the Sydney City, Leichhardt and Dee Why community corrections offices.

He says it's not the easiest of jobs but there's a lot of job satisfaction.

"I remember one example of helping a man while he was on parole," Mr Messitt says.  

"He'd been released from custody for a reckless-wounding related charge and had been dealing with mental and substance-abuse issues.

"We found him accommodation, linked him with external service providers to assist him to address his long standing substance abuse, mental health issues and to obtain furniture for his apartment.

"It was a holistic approach. He's been doing OK since."

Mr Messitt believes Community Corrections provides a valuable contribution to society.

"While some people might feel community corrections doesn't work, I believe without some help after leaving prison, the rates of reoffending would be much higher," he says.

"Certain times the offender you deal with may be demanding but you learn to adapt and your team mates are always there to help you manage cases efficiently and effectively."