The number of staff managing parolees and other offenders serving community-based sentences has increased dramatically since the Gallop Government was elected.
Justice Minister John D’Orazio said a 65 per cent staff increase (75.4 FTE) had occurred, while offender numbers had risen by only 12 per cent.
Mr D’Orazio said an additional 33 staff managing juvenile offenders represented an increase of almost 46 per cent.
“An additional 17 senior community corrections and three senior juvenile justice positions have now been created to supervise and support field staff as well as managing offenders themselves,” the Minister said.
“These new positions will effectively double the number of senior field officers in the system across the State.
“Better management of offenders on parole, undertaking community work orders or completing other supervised sentences, such as drug rehabilitation programs, is helping restore the balance in our justice system.
“Ensuring that offenders are meeting their obligations is important for their rehabilitation, as well as increasing community safety and providing benefits through the projects they undertake.
“These new positions will improve supervision and support and help build a better career path for staff undertaking the difficult and challenging job of managing offenders.
“This will bring the number of frontline staff managing adult and juvenile offenders to 297 - an increase of 109 or 57 per cent since February 2001.
“Between February 2001 and December 2005, the total number of adult and juvenile offenders serving community sentences has grown by 14 per cent from 5,488 to 6,232.”
Mr D’Orazio said 10 of the new senior community corrections officer positions would be based in the metropolitan area and seven in regional centres including Albany, Bunbury, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Kununurra and Roebourne.
The three senior juvenile justice positions would relieve supervision pressures in Bunbury, South Hedland and Newman.
Appointments to the positions are expected to be made in February 2006.
Minister's office: 9213 7150