Spotlight on Mike Reynolds – Director Security and Emergency Management
When did you join Correctional Services? I joined DCS on 2 February 1987.
Can you tell us a little bit about your career and which prisons you’ve worked in? I commenced as a Trainee Correctional Officer at the old Adelaide Gaol and worked there until it closed in 1988. I transferred to Mobilong Prison and worked as a general duties officer for 6 ½ years. I transferred to the Adelaide Remand Centre as a general duties officer and was promoted to Assistant Unit Manager (supervisor), then Case Management Coordinator and then Security Coordinator.Whilst at the ARC I acted as an accommodation manager for over 12 months. After 9 years at the ARC I took a role in central office for 3 weeks. Whilst I was there I was approached to do a project on regime management and remained in central office for 6 months. During that time I applied for and won the role of the manager of the dog squad. This later became known as the OSU. After about 2 years at the OSU I took on the role of Manager Custodial Services. Through a number of different iterations this role eventually became the Director Security and Emergency Management.
What have you enjoyed most about your time with Correctional Services over the last 30 years? The friendships I have made and the ‘can-do’ attitude of all of the officers and staff I have worked with.
What you think makes corrections a great place to work? Hands down the people, I have met and worked with the most amazing and dedicated people. The job can be incredibly tough and demanding and it is the people who make it what it is. Correctional Officers have an amazing sense of humour even if it is a bit black at times.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve seen? The changes to how we do our business especially the use of technology. When I started there were no mobile phones, no email, no air conditioning in escort vehicles, no computers and no JIS for DCS staff. Managers dealt with incidents and reported after the fact. With the advent of technology everyone is connected all the time - this has both positive and negative aspects.
What’s are the biggest changes or projects you’ve been involved across your career? I have seen a number of changes that have dramatically impacted on how we do our job. The introduction of truth in sentencing that removed remissions for good behaviour brought about a change in the way we manage prisoners, without the ability to remove remissions for bad behaviour meant we needed to focus on other ways of gaining compliance.The introduction of case management changed how staff interacted with prisoners and focused on communication with prisoners. Prior to the introduction of case management there was very little interaction between staff and prisoners.
What is the most the important thing you’ve learnt across your career in corrections? Patience.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? I follow motorsport, the footy and love riding my motorbike.