First Class Correctional Officer, Kirkconnell Correctional Centre15 years with Corrective Services NSW
With a background of living on the land and previous studies in agriculture, David Best has been well-placed to give drought-affected farmers a helping hand with a team from Kirkconnell Correctional Centre.
The 48-year-old First Class Correctional Officer has been involved in the recent ‘Farm Aid’ program where staff and minimum-security inmates assist farmers during the drought period.
Mr Best is among the more than 9,000 Corrective Services NSW staff being celebrated for their commitment to community safety on National Corrections Day, Friday 18 January.
CSNSW staff includes custodial officers, inmate services and programs staff, psychologists and parole officers.
“We’ve been able to help clean up farmers’ properties, fix fencing and provide lawn and garden care as well as general maintenance,” Mr Best says.
“It’s been a good process for all involved - the farmers are very appreciative for the help and the inmates get a sense of community by giving back.”
From Sydney to the central west, Mr Best has clocked up more than 15 years working with Corrective Services NSW. He says the various industries offered at Kirkconnell provide inmates with opportunities to rehabilitate.
“Offenders need to be engaged and avoid idleness otherwise it will lead them back to trouble,” Mr Best says.
“Whether they are working in engineering or horticulture, they are learning life and job skills they can take with them when they’re released so they hopefully don’t get back into their bad cycle.”
The 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.
Across 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.