Lauren McCaffrey

Lauren McCaffrey, 2 June, 2022

Lauren developed an interest in the criminal justice system while at school undertaking legal studies and this interest grew when she was exposed to corrections during work experience while studying Justice at QUT.

Originally from Rockhampton and when Lauren graduated she was lucky enough to move back to her home town and pursue a career as Senior Case Manager for Queensland Corrective Services.

Lauren had always had an interest in supporting people to live their best lives and her lecturer introduced her to a volunteering program at Rockhampton Community Corrections which piqued her interest even more.

She found the opportunity to volunteer really beneficial because it gave her an insight into the agency and experience in different roles.

It also showed her firsthand the important role corrections plays in the community and that made her really want to pursue a career in this field.

Here Lauren talks more about her career in Corrections.

What is a typical day in corrections?

I really enjoy that no two days are the same. Examples of a few case management tasks are:

  • Interviews with individuals about how they are progressing on their order
  • Referrals to intervention services
  • Home visits
  • Acting as a court office
  • Addressing further offending notifications.

What are some of the highlights?

I participated in the Queensland Police Service operations which involved a senior case manager and I conducting home visits to high-risk clients and accompanied by police. This was to undertake tasks like breath tests and environmental scans.

I am also about to begin an appointment as the senior case manager for a local Indigenous community. This will require me to conduct interviews, home visits and attend court and inducting new individuals.

What are some of the challenges working in corrections?

Just like any job there are multiple challenges working in corrections. For example, dealing with a non compliant or resistant client. By the very nature of the service, we aren’t working with people who are there by choice. At times we do face situations where it can be quite taxing, however the wins along the way outweigh the lows. It’s important we debrief with the other case managers regularly and take time out for self care.

What advice would you give a current student thinking of working in corrections?

Although a career in corrections can be very challenging at times, there is a lot of satisfaction in supporting clients to get their lives back on track. If the opportunity presents itself to volunteer within the agency, grab it and see if it’s the right fit for you. My experience is agency staff are very supportive and the training is provided to give you every chance to progress successfully.

How did your degree help you in your current role?

I found my degree really beneficial for my current employment. The assessment pieces were realistic and relevant and I find that I am now able to put the theory learned into practice on a regularly basis.

My lecturers and tutors as well as the subjects studied and work experience, really did equip me for the real world working in corrections.

What are your future goals?

I am fully challenged in my current role and taking advantage of any opportunities offered to enhance my skills. There are many pathways for me to explore within corrections and I am interested in the clinical support unit who are responsible for providing advice to improve the quality of case management of individuals who commit sex offences.

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Lauren McCaffrey (square)

Lauren McCaffrey

Bachelor of Justice (Criminology and Policing)

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