Corrections Minister Judith Collins was given a hands-on demonstration of new safety features at a Community Corrections site today.
The Upper Hutt centre is one of the first to feature the security enhancements, which will be rolled out across the country by 2019.
"They’re dealing with volatile people, unfortunately, and they have to have the best mechanisms to keep themselves safe," says Ms Collins.
The site is monitored by 16 CCTV cameras and the front counter is equipped with 'fins' and guards that stop an offender climbing or rolling over it.
Interview rooms have panic alarms and two rooms used for high-risk offenders are visible to the whole office.
The upgrade at the Upper Hutt site cost $4.7 million -- more than half of the sites across the country have been upgraded too.
"With the suite of safety and security enhancements available, I am confident Corrections is taking staff and public safety seriously," says Ms Collins.
These incidents include an offender attempting to break a Perspex divider with a chair, an offender striking a staff member on the side of their face, an offender spitting in a staff member's eye and a staff member being pushed down several steps at the entry to an offender's house.