Programs designed to support the rehabilitation of Victorians in the justice system have been recognised at the 2016 Community Work Partnership Awards.
Minister for Corrections Gayle Tierney joined hundreds of volunteers at the MCG on Nov 16 for the awards, which acknowledge constructive partnerships between Corrections Victoria and local community groups.
“Today’s awards were a chance to pay tribute and say thanks to the hundreds of community workers who dedicate their lives to helping others turn over a new leaf. The Andrews Labor Government was elected to put people first and that includes working with community groups to drive down the rates of re-offending, creating a safer Victoria,” said Tierney said.
A partnership between minimum-security Beechworth Correctional Centre and the Winton Wetlands Committee of Management took out the highly coveted Minister’s Award, an official press release said.
The program sees prisoners working on the largest wetlands restoration project in the Southern Hemisphere – giving them skills they can use after prison including gardening, landscaping and environmental pest control.
Corrections Commissioner Jan Shuard presented the Commissioner’s Award to volunteer Gwen Jarvis, from the Sit and Knit program for community-based female offenders.
Jarvis supervises the program, teaching offenders how to make items like blankets, beanies and jumpers which are then donated to disadvantaged children and families.
In 2015-16, offenders subject to Community Correction Orders completed almost 804,000 hours of community work, worth about $24 million to Victorian communities. (TIW)