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Community Corrections OfficerSeven years with Corrective Services NSW
Given the intensity of his job, you’d think Andrew Sandercock had more than his fair share of adrenaline at work.
But archery, go-karting, bungee jumping and mountain biking are just some of the ways he lets off steam after a week of working in one of Community Corrections’ high-pressure units.
Mr Sandercock is among 1,400 of Corrective Services NSW’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.
As part of the Metropolitan Extended Supervision Order Team working at Blacktown in Sydney’s west, he works with offenders who have been convicted of serious crimes and are subject to supervision orders from the Supreme Court.
It’s a tough job but he enjoys it: “I like the stress, I like the pressure. I like the fact that we have a top team with all these resources so we can help these guys to turn their lives around.”
At the same time, he is under no illusions about the difficulties of his role.
“The offenders I deal with are deemed to be high-risk offenders,” Mr Sandercock says.
“So we face daily challenges supervising these guys.”
Mr Sandercock has been working in Community Corrections for seven years, and moved to the ESO unit about a year ago.
He doesn’t want to be anywhere else, and for him, National Corrections Day is “a great opportunity to represent the amazing group of people I work with in the ESO Team and shine a light on the awesome work they do.”
“They keep me going when the going gets tough,” Mr Sandercock says.
“They’re at the top of their game and I’ve learned so much from them. Their support is incredible, and they’re constantly encouraging me to do better.”
Despite the challenges and pressures, Mr Sandercock knows exactly why he does what he does.
“I do this job because I want to make sure that the people we supervise don’t commit any further serious offences,” he says.
“I do it so that people can feel safe in their own homes. I do it because if we can help just one offender get his or her life back on track so that they can live a lawful and productive life then we can prevent any future offending.
“That’s my way of making a difference in this world.”
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.