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​From Prison Paddocks to Prisoners’ Plates

Issued: Monday, 30 June 2014
[PDF, 221kb]

Prisoners in NSW are slashing their grocery bill by growing, farming and processing much of their own food, saving tax payers millions of dollars.

“Last financial year prisoners grew over a million apples, made one-and-a-half million loaves of bread and produced almost one-and-a-half million litres of milk through the dairy,” NSW Attorney General and Minister for Justice Brad Hazzard said.

“Not only does this self-sufficiency save tax payers millions of dollars, prisoners gain valuable on-the-job skills and qualifications which make them more employable when they are released.

“Having a job improves lift their reintegration into society and lowers the risk of reoffending.”

Food produced by prisoners in the 2012-13 financial year:
Almost 129, 000 kilograms of fresh beef product
More than 338,000 kilograms of processed vegetables
About 1.3 million apples
More than 1.4 million litres of fresh milk
More than 1 million pies and sausage rolls
1.5 million loaves of bread

“In 2012-13 the program, which involved more than 500 prison workers, saved taxpayers more than $4 million - at the end of the current financial year it will save up to $6 million by further reducing reliance on external sources.”

“I am pleased to announce that the NSW Government is also committing $6 million in minor works funding for a new, modern central kitchen facility at John Morony Correctional Complex,” Mr Hazzard said.

“This commercial scale kitchen will produce food for correctional centres across NSW - this centralisation and other related efficiencies will save taxpayers an extra $1.5 million a year while providing improved work training,” he said.

Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin said that in addition to gaining-on-the-job experience many prisoners also complete food-related short courses and traineeships.

“Last year almost 600 prisoners completed food-related short courses including in hygiene and food handling, hospitality, horticulture and agriculture,” Mr Severin said.