Minister Presents Corrections Awards

Minister Presents Corrections Awards

Victoria Minister for Corrections and Crime Prevention Andrew McIntosh

Community The Real Winner In Corrections Victoria Awards

Victor P Taffa

Community groups engaging offenders to help Victorians in innovative ways have been recognised at the 2011 Corrections Victoria Community Work Partnerships Awards.

Corrections and Crime Prevention Minister Andrew McIntosh joined Corrections Commissioner Bob Hastings to give out the awards at a ceremony today.

“These awards pay tribute to groups involving those who have done the wrong thing to give back to the community.” Mr. McIntosh said.

“The community benefits from the work they do and it’s a good form of rehabilitation for offenders, who are then less likely to reoffend in the future.”

Last financial year, community work partnerships using prisoners and offenders on community orders carried out more than 1,000 projects. Offenders did more than 800,000 hours of unpaid work, valued at $19 Million.

The big winner was Green Wheels of Justice, a multi-partner project using offenders to repair and restore bicycles using environmentally friendly materials. The bicycles were then given to underprivileged residents and newly arrived refugees in the St. Albans area.

Green Wheels of Justice won the award for most outstanding new project, as well as the Commissioner’s award.

Mr. McIntosh described the project as an impressive example of the wider benefits of work partnerships, with broad-reaching improvements to the lives of communities and offenders alike.

“Last year, 2011, was also notable for projects which used offenders to give desperately needed help in some of Victoria’s 100 flood-affected communities. Offenders helped sandbag, clean up as waters receded and in some cases rebuild farms and homes.” Mr. McIntosh said.

Community work programs give offenders a chance to use their time to repay the community while, at the same time, learning skills. In many cases, the programs are also able to offer certificates and skills accreditation, which will support offenders into employment once their sentences or orders have been completed.

“These Awards provide important recognition to the enormous benefits community work partnerships can bring from both a corrections management and a crime prevention perspective. I have no doubt initiatives such as those being celebrated today will provide long term benefits to communities and offenders alike.” Mr. McIntosh said.

The Community Work Partnership Awards have been presented since 1999.

Not-for-profit groups interested in forming a community work partnership should contact their local prison or CCS office.

The 2011 Community Partnership Award Winners:

Category 1: Most Outstanding New Project

Green Wheels of Justice

Category 2: Initiative with Local Councils, Shires or Utilities

Community Emergency Information Notice Boards

Category 3: Educational Institution/ Educational Programs

Weeroona Cemetery

Category 4: Environmental Sustainability Projects

Parks Victoria Environmental Community Work Program

Category 5: Projects Involving Diversity, Indigenous and Aged Offenders/ Prisoners

HEELP (Horticulture Employment & Eco Living Program)

Category 6: Supervisor Award

Kevin Hall – A Gesture

Category 7: Peter Lindsay Award Field Officer /Staff /Location/ Region

Louise Head and Donald Knight – Field Officers, Bendigo CCS

Category 8: Most Outstanding Location-Based Project (CCS Location/ Prison)

Soft Toy Program

Category 9: Best in Region

Barwon South West Region: Hamilton Institute of Rural Learning

Eastern Metropolitan Region: Boyd Gales, Salvos Stores Kilsyth

Gippsland Region: Community Emergency Information Notice Boards

Grampians Region: Clematis Walking Track Flood Recovery (joint winner)

And Marigolds for ANZAC Day (joint winner)

Hume Region: Danny Jones, Albury Wodonga Regional Parklands

Loddon Mallee Region: Louise Head and Donald Knight, Field Officers, Bendigo CCS

North Western Metropolitan Region: Green Wheels of Justice

Southern Metropolitan Region: Parks Victoria Environmental Community Work Program

Category 10: Commissioner’s Award

Green Wheels of Justice