General Duties Officer, Mid North Coast Correctional Centre20 years with Corrective Services NSW
For Glen Murgatroyd, variety is the spice of life. In two decades of service with Corrective Services NSW, Mr Murgatroyd has worked at nearly every correctional centre in the state, bar two, and worked in a number of roles, most recently as a dog handler in the K9 Unit.
He is among 5,140 of CSNSW’s custodial officers, services and programs staff and psychologists - and more than 8,000 total staff - to be celebrated as part of the country’s first annual National Corrections Day.
Now at Mid North Coast Correctional Centre in Kempsey, Mr Murgatroyd continues to enjoy a diverse range of responsibilities.
“No day is ever the same,” Mr Murgatroyd says.
“Depending on rostering requirements, I could be working a wing, responsible for the security and wellbeing of up to 80 inmates. I could be working in the reception room, coordinating the transport of inmates to court, other centres, police interviews or releases.”
Mr Murgatroyd says National Corrections Day is a great opportunity to let the public know about the variety of rehabilitation, education and training programs available to inmates to prepare them for release and reintegration into society.
“These courses – from educational programs to gaining technical qualifications in Corrective Services Industries’ workshops – mean that inmates can walk out of our gates with the knowledge and skills to turn their lives around and get gainful employment,” Mr Murgatroyd says.
Industries range from woodwork workshops constructing furniture, bumper bar and car respraying workshops, or learning how to cook and prepare meals for all diets and dietary needs.
He also hopes National Corrections Day gives the public an idea of the way many custodial and community corrections officers like him keep the community safe in an often difficult environment.
“One of the biggest challenges is communicating with inmates, especially if they’re drug or alcohol dependent, or have just been sentenced,” Mr Murgatroyd says.
“To be able to communicate with them on their level can sometimes be difficult. But that has never stopped me from keeping up the effort.”
The same goes for rehabilitation: “Some may think it’s a soft option, but giving inmates the chance to gain the skills and education to help them fit into society can make a huge difference – to them, their families, and the community.
“Over the past two decades, I’ve run into several former inmates around the state who’ve turned around their lives to become law-abiding, productive citizens. And that’s why my colleagues and I do what we do.”