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Amanda Carden

Amanda CardenCommunity Corrections Officer, Metropolitan Extended Supervision Order Team

Three years with Corrective Services NSW

When Amanda Carden joined Corrective Services NSW almost four years ago, her goal was to work with the worst of the worst criminals.

Having studied a Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, the 26-year-old was determined to make a difference where it was needed the most.

She is among 1,400 of CSNSW’s Community Corrections officers and more than 8,000 total staff to be celebrated as part of the country’s first annual National Corrections Day.

Ms Carden now spends her days monitoring and engaging with high-risk offenders in the community as part of CSNSW’s Metropolitan Extended Supervision Order Team, at Blacktown, in Sydney’s West.

“It’s really rewarding to manage an offender through a crisis rather than see them harm the community, themselves or return to custody,” Ms Carden says.

“Due to the chaotic nature of offenders’ lives they’re often in a state of crisis – whether they are suffering a mental health episode or are at risk of relapsing to drug use – and they need assistance to manage the situation.

“While it is often very challenging, I love that my work assists them in making positive changes in their lives which, in turn, keeps the community safe.”

The self-confessed true crime enthusiast first became interested in working with offenders after interviewing a Community Corrections Officer for a university assignment.

Ms Carden already knew about some of CSNSW’s work through her mother, who has worked as an administrative assistant in a number of Community Corrections offices for the past decade.

A typical day for her now involves closely monitoring offenders on court-imposed Extended Supervision Orders at their homes or in the community, speaking with their friends and families and managing any issues that arise.

These are the most dangerous offenders in the community including murderers, sexual offenders or other violent criminals.

Community Corrections officers work intensely with offenders once they are released from custody on parole, or are serving community based orders, to provide them with professional case management and supervision in the community.

Evidence shows that supervision combined with rehabilitation is the most effective way of reducing reoffending. 

Under new laws to strengthen sentencing options and enable smarter management of parolees, more offenders will be subject to supervision by Community Corrections officers. 

The new laws are part of a package of reforms being rolled out by the middle of next year to reduce reoffending, improve community safety and support victims.