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Additional beds for prison system

Issued: Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Minister for Corrections David Elliott today announced 181 extra beds are being added to the state's prisons, bringing to more than 430 those that will be introduced in the very short term to meet the demands of the rising prison population.

The NSW Government has already funded an extra 1,985 prisoner beds since March 2014 and will deliver additional beds in the longer term with a new 600-bed prison at Grafton and the 400-bed expansion of Parklea.

Additionally, 181 beds are being introduced in the coming weeks to further ease the pressure. These include:

  • 15 beds at Wellington Correctional Centre by end of the month
  • 114 beds at Grafton Correctional Centre in the next three weeks
  • 52 beds at Glenn Innes Correctional Centre in the next three weeks

These are in addition to the 160 modular cell beds soon to be introduced at the Outer Metropolitan Multi-Purpose Correctional Centre and Parklea Correctional Centre and the 90 additional beds already announced for Wellington Correctional Centre.

Mr Elliott said Corrective Services NSW is also looking at introducing other beds at existing facilities in consultation with the union and the community.

"Stronger law enforcement and sentences which reflect community expectations have led to an increase in the prison population," Mr Elliott said.

"It is a challenge for the system and the NSW Government has an infrastructure plan to accommodate these prisoners.

"The additional beds are short-term measures which will help ease some of the immediate pressure on the system and will gradually be replaced with additional cells in new, modern correctional facilities."

The 2015/16 Budget allocated funding to procure a 600-bed prison in Grafton and expand Parklea by an additional 400 inmates - which will introduce 1,000 extra beds to the system. The NSW Government delivered on its election commitment to reopen Kirkconnell Correctional Centre in July with an extra 260 beds.