Wednesday, April 17, 2024

WA Corrections leaders honoured

Six leaders within Western Australia’s prison system have been awarded the prestigious Australian Corrections Medal (ACM) in the King’s Birthday 2023 Honours List.

Between them, the four women and two men have notched up almost 200 years of dedicated service with the Department of Justice.

The ACM recipients are Christine Ginbey, Deputy Commissioner Women and Young People; Alan Watkins, Assistant Commissioner Adult Community Corrections; Kerri Bishop, Superintendent Bunbury Regional Prison; Jason Barnett, Superintendent Wandoo Rehabilitation Prison; Sharon Turner, Senior Officer Boronia Pre-Release Centre for Women and Wendy Duguid, Director Adult Court Services.

Department Director General, Dr Adam Tomison said the Medals were richly deserved.

“I’m extremely proud of all six recipients who have achieved great outcomes for staff as well as those in custody during their long and distinguished careers,” Dr Tomison said.

Commissioner of Corrective Services, Mike Reynolds said it was particularly pleasing to see four women recognised.

“These women have been trailblazers in Corrective Services and are incredibly passionate about the rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners in their care,” Commissioner Reynolds said.

Deputy Commissioner Christine Ginbey was honoured for her globally recognised prison design and operations for incarcerated women.

The first Superintendent of Boronia Pre-Release Centre for Women which opened in Bentley in 2004, Ms Ginbey described the facility as an “amazing achievement.”

“It was the first prison to be focused on reintegration for women,” she said. 

“We have children living with their mothers in a community environment, we allow the women to shop, we teach them how to budget, plan meals and cook with fresh food.

“Our passionate staff impact the women and their children, breaking the chain of intergenerational incarceration.”

Superintendent Kerri Bishop was among the first female prison officers in a male prison in Western Australia, when she started work at Broome Regional Prison in 1987.

The Superintendent at Bunbury Regional Prison since 2012, Ms Bishop said the best part of the job is the camaraderie that comes with working as part of a close knit team.

“The co-workers at all levels are the best bit. Working as a team, achieving positive outcomes for prisoners but also for staff. I love it when the staff have a sense of achievement and I’ve made some great friendships along the way,” she said.

Assistant Commissioner Alan Watkins was honoured for his 43 years of service with the Department, including his current role working directly with high-risk serious offenders. 

He has unparalleled experience and knowledge of managing programs and services for community-based offenders.

Superintendent Jason Barnett is currently the Superintendent at Wandoo Rehabilitation Prison. 

As Deputy Superintendent at Casuarina Prison, he provided custodial leadership and oversight for the running of the Mallee Rehabilitation Centre treatment facility which opened in 2020. 

His motivation to help break the cycle of addictions also aided his involvement in the Solid Steps addiction program developed by the Department. 

Ms Sharon Turner is a Senior Officer at Boronia Pre-Release Centre for Women where she has worked since 1999. 

She has been recognised for her role during the COVID-19 outbreak, when she ensured residents maintained daily contact via phone and Skype to help minimise the impacts of isolation from children. 

Ms Turner’s understanding of Aboriginal cultural issues has enabled her to form positive relationships between the residents and staff.  

Ms Wendy Duguid is directly responsible for service delivery to the Central Law Courts team, Court Assessment Treatment Services – Drug Court, Intellectual Disability Diversion Program, Mental Health Court, Central Breach Unit, Bail Co-ordination and the Mallee Rehabilitation Centre

She developed and negotiated with WA Police to implement the electronic lodgement of warrants for the apprehension of offenders subject to Parole, Home Detention Bail and Pre-Sentence Orders.

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