The appointment of a new general manager at Dhurringile Prison has been welcomed after he recently met with members of the town’s action group.
Colin Thompson will oversee the operation of the prison, bringing with him a 35-year career in corrections, and said he hoped to find new ways the prisoners could make a difference within the community.
Dhurringile Community Action Group chair Frank Niglia welcomed the appointment and said Mr Thompson had started well and seemed to be approachable.
‘‘We had an introductory meeting where he was introduced by the previous general manager,’’ he said.
‘‘And he has also attended a community meeting at Dhurringile.’’
Mr Niglia said it was encouraging Mr Thompson had confirmed a day where action group members could inspect the new upgrades at the prison, following an escape in October last year.
Mr Thompson said community work was important to him because it allowed prisoners to constructively use their time.
‘‘I’m looking forward to finding new ways we can make a difference, while also building on our current partnerships and contributing to community safety and confidence,’’ he said.
Dhurringile Tennis Club spokeswoman Lisa Niglia said in the past Dhurringile Prison had done a fantastic job in supporting the club.
Dhurringile’s community work groups help maintain recreation reserves, undertake maintenance and gardening at schools and assist emergency services during natural disasters.
Dhurringile prisoners are involved in a range of programs aimed at reducing reoffending and developing life skills, as well as working in the prison’s woodwork and metal shops, horticulture teams and on its 280-head dairy farm.
Mr Thompson has previous experience as general manager at Barwon Prison, Marngoneet Correctional Centre, Melbourne Assessment Prison, Hopkins Correctional Centre and Langi Kal Kal Prison.