A Christmas message from our community corrections staff

This Christmas, our community corrections officers will be supervising about 21,000 offenders on various community based orders.

Christmas can be a wonderful time for some, and a difficult time for others. For people working to settle back into the community and reconnect with families, or to overcome substance addiction, it can be particularly challenging.

We asked some of our community corrections officers what message they would send to the offenders they supervise in the lead up to Christmas.

The following is a compilation of their thoughts.

To everyone we have been working with during 2018,

Here are our thoughts and reflections on the year past. We have had numerous faces through the door and of course, each face comes with its own unique story.

Everyone who has come here has walked different paths and has lived different experiences. We acknowledge that it hasn’t always been smooth sailing.

With that said, we would like to congratulate you all on working hard over the course of the year. Make the most of the holiday season, relax, and enjoy your time with those dearest to you.

Going into Christmas, it is important to remember to keep in touch with those who have supported you over the last year, show gratitude towards them, and to be kind to them in turn. This is your chance to be a positive influence on the world around you.

Society places a lot of significance on Christmas, and this can make you feel lonely and inadequate. Take the time to identify and focus on the positive things in your life, however small they may seem.

We know things might be tight financially right now, but remember that your loved ones value your presence over the value of presents.

Remember to say yes – yes to spending times with good friends and those who support you, including charity organisations, or find opportunities to volunteer your time, and find joy in giving back to others.

Plan for what can be a difficult time. Take time to remember your Relapse Prevention Plan strategies, have the phone numbers for support services and proactively book appointments if you think you’ll need help getting through Christmas.

Sometimes you face difficulties: not because you are doing something wrong; but because you are doing something right. So, do what is right; not what is easy. Challenges are what makes life interesting – overcoming them is what makes them meaningful.

Please stay safe over the Christmas period and make good choices. We are only a phone call away – if you are having difficulties, please reach out for help. If things aren’t going so great, we are here to help.

This Christmas, give yourself a chance. A chance to move into the new year with goals and ambitions. A chance to make different choices.

For some of you this will be your first Christmas in the community for many years. While it will be challenging for you, this is a great achievement. Take pride in the small things, because you have come so far.

And finally, remember that confidence is something you create within yourself by believing in who you are. We, as an agency, believe in meaningful change. We will support you and we will be here when you are ready.

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