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Tuesday 27 November 2018

The Public Service Commissioner, Russell Thomas has appointed Teokotai Joseph as the Secretary for the newly created Ministry of Corrective Services.  Teokotai or Tai as he is commonly known by, will be the first Head of this new Ministry and the expectations on him to achieve great things is huge.

The Ministry of Corrective Services will be made up of the Probation and Prison Services.  It will be responsible for ensuring that offenders are managed securely and safely within the prison and in the community.  Tai was appointed by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) as the Transition Manager to oversee and facilitate the separation of these two Divisions from MOJ.

Joseph is the current Chief Probation Officer with the Ministry of Justice.  He has had 10 years working experience within the Police and 19 years with the Probation Service, an area that he has always been passionate in working in.  He has always strived to help those that he works with to become better people and contribute to the development of our country.  Joseph has strong management skills and experience and is able to work autonomously or collaboratively as part of a larger team and he continuously strives for excellence.

Joseph is keen to start implementing some of the recommendations made by the Public Service Capacity Assessment Report of the MOJ in 2017 as well as the McDermott and Matapo Report.

The Capacity Assessment undertaken by the Office of the Public Service Commissioner, looked at the issues hindering the performance of MOJ by analyzing key areas of policy and legislative mandates, leadership and management, organisational culture and capability of staff and the Agency and systems including finance and data management.  The Prison Service was scrutinised by the McDermott and Matapo Report, following a violent incident that took place at Rarotonga.  The Report identified various priorities for the Prison and the NZ Department of Corrections is currently carrying out an evaluation and will develop a plan to support and improve the outcomes for Probation and Prison Services.

Joseph acknowledges that the Ministry of Corrective Services will be operating in a very challenging environment and will endeavor for the Ministry to provide an efficient and effective service for the safety of the people of the Cook Islands while at the same time working on effective rehabilitation and reintegration for offenders in the community and in prison.

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