Spotlight on Carmen Bryan – Community Corrections Area Manager
When did you join Correctional Services? I joined the department in May 1984
Can you tell us a little bit about your career and which area's you’ve worked in? I have spent my entire corrections career working in Community Corrections. I started off working as a Community Service Supervisor and then was employed as a Community Service Officer. I then took on the role of Manager of Community Service and Home Detention.
In 1994 I took on the role of Manager Community Programs and was part of the Management Team. In 1998 my role increased and my portfolio included Home Detention, Probation and Parole, and Community Service. In that time it was very rare for someone to have knowledge of all three programs. In 2005 I took on the role of Manager Case Management. In 2012 I took on the role of Manager Intensive Compliance Unit and led the review of Home Detention. In 2018 I took on the role of Area Manager of North East Community Corrections and Gawler Community Corrections. I have worked in nearly all Community Corrections offices across the metropolitan area with the exception of Noarlunga Community Correctional Centre.
What have you enjoyed the most about your time in the job?I have enjoyed the various different opportunities that I have had across my career. I also enjoyed the opportunity in the early days to be one of the architects of Home Detention. I was also one of the architects of the Repay SA Program that saw the inclusion of the Special Needs Program. I was the first to recruit non-custodial staff to home detention and other streams to work in the community service program.I am longest serving manager in South Australia and have been part of management from 1994.
What do you think makes Corrections a great place to work? A couple of the main things I think makes corrections a great place to work are the team work involved in the role and the opportunities there are to work with offenders and reduce the risk to the community. The other thing I think makes Corrections a great place to work is the diversity and the opportunities to work with a variety of people from different backgrounds I think one could say it is addictive. I loved the job on the first day and I can say that I still love the job as much today.
What are the biggest changes or projects you’ve been involved in across your career?The biggest change I have seen is to the home detention program which is now the Intensive Compliance Unit. It now includes the monitoring centre. Offenders can now be tracked using GPS electronic monitoring .
What is the most important thing you’ve learnt across your career in corrections? The most important thing I’ve learnt is that strong leadership from the top is the secret to success. DCS currently has a progressive Executive Group and in the past 5 years the department has been more open and easy to access.
What advice would you give to new staff starting in community corrections? The advice I would give is to be patient, work hard and take advantage of the diversity and the opportunity the department offers.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?I enjoy going to the gym, reading and spending time with family. I also work in a voluntary role in Red Cross as a despatcher for youth who have SAPOL involvement.