A new purpose-built Community Corrections site in Levin has modern and safe facilities, benefitting staff and visitors, Corrections Chief Executive Ray Smith said today.
Speaking at the official opening of the building, Mr Smith said Levin staff now have a workplace that was fit-for-purpose, and one that would better serve people the site works with.
“The new site creates a more open, welcoming environment, while ensuring the safety and security of our staff and visitors.
“The open plan office creates a more conducive and collaborative working environment while clear lines of sight throughout the office allow staff and the reception area to be visible at all times.
“A dedicated whanau room means there’s sufficient space for staff to engage with offenders and their family members for group meetings.”
Security features include CCTV monitoring, controlled entry to the main entrance, an anti-climb reception counter, interview rooms fitted with duress alarms and two points of entry/exit.
Mr Smith said the new site was part of Corrections’ nation-wide renewal programme to make Community Corrections sites more secure for staff and those who visit them.
“In 2013 we committed to upgrading 70% of our community sites, Levin being one of them.
“The 30 staff who work at the site now have modern facilities to manage community-based offenders, provide meaningful community work projects, deliver rehabilitation programmes and psychological treatment.
“Of course, the Levin team couldn’t do their work without the support of the local iwi, government and non-agencies.”
To commemorate the opening Mr Smith unveiled a plaque and planted a Kowhai tree grown in the nursery at Whanganui Prison. Around 90 people attended the ceremony including representatives from agencies, service providers, iwi and staff from around the district.
Guests at the opening also heard how offenders managed by Levin Community Corrections contribute to the community through community work projects.
In the 2017 calendar year offenders managed by Levin Community Corrections contributed to nearly 21,500 hours of community work projects across Horowhenua. Examples include working with Horowhenua District Council and Friends of the Otaki River to plant 1,500 seedlings community work crews potted; supporting local iwi with the maintenance of marae and urupa; and mowing lawns and general grounds maintenance for a number of kohanga reos, kindergartens and community groups in the community.
The 30 staff employed at the site manage offenders on nearly 500 community-based sentences and orders including home detention and community work.
More than 30,000 offenders are serving community-based sentences at any given time. Community Corrections supports these people to motivate them to make changes in their lives and find positive ways to give back to their communities.