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​Reconfiguring NSW Corrections

Issued: 16 January 2013
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Corrective Services NSW is continuing to re-configure its infrastructure, resources and services following reductions in the State’s inmate population, Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Severin said today.

Mr Severin said a state-wide operational analysis of correctional centres had resulted in recommendations to improve facility operations and efficiency in the delivery of inmate programs.

Under the recommendations to be adopted, a 104-year-old section within Sydney’s Long Bay Correctional Complex will close.

The ageing Metropolitan Special Programs Centre, Area 1, Sector 1 (MSPC1) opened in 1909 as a Women’s Reformatory and currently houses about 320 maximum security remand and transient inmates.

The pre-World War 1 centre has significant accommodation shortfalls which require a multi-million dollar investment and protracted, complex historical preservation hurdles to overcome.

Commissioner Severin said the 20-year-old, 100-bed minimum-security H Block at Silverwater would also be re-opened as part of the state-wide reconfiguration, and the new 250 bed maximum security wing at Cessnock Correctional Centre commissioned in the coming months.

"This is about retiring old gaol accommodation and using modern facilities inside major centres to provide safe, secure and humane management of inmates," he said.

The NSW prison population has steadily declined from its peak of around 10500 inmates in May 2009, to 9700 in December last year.

A total of 75 staff will be affected with the majority transferring to other metropolitan and regional correctional centres, while others will stay part of the remaining 700-strong Long Bay workforce.

"The state-wide analysis of facilities and operations tells us this consolidation will give us the best structure to manage inmates in facilities that better meet modern security standards and lend themselves to contemporary correctional practices," he said.

"We will be working hard to look after every affected officer and we’re confident we will comfortably place staff into new and existing positions across Sydney, Western Sydney and in regional locations.

"The movement of inmates according to their security classification and program requirements is a daily operational exercise for CSNSW," Mr Severin said.

"Our ability to provide safe, secure, humane and best practice management of inmates will be vastly improved by this re-organisation and will deliver a better working environment for our hard-working staff."