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​Kirkconnell opens for prison inmates

Issued: Tuesday 17 February 2015
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Kirkconnell Correctional Centre will be opened to cater for the increased prison population, Attorney General Brad Hazzard announced today.

“Recent legislative changes and active policing aimed at ensuring community safety have seen an increase in the prison population which necessitates the NSW Government taking additional measures to house inmates,” Mr Hazzard said.

“Recently the Government announced initiatives including building new modular cells and increasing prisoner numbers in existing facilities.

“Today the Government is taking the next step in keeping our community safe by re-opening Kirkconnell Correctional Centre.”

Local MP Paul Toole said: “The Baird Government made an assurance that Kirkconnell Correctional Centre would be re-opened if prison populations were to go up, and we have kept this promise.”

“This is a great outcome for the region and a welcome boost to the local economy with 60 jobs created at the prison.”

The reopening of Kirkconnell Correctional Centre follows staged expansions at centres including Long Bay and Lithgow, where 635 additional beds were added over the past year.

When fully operational, Kirkconnell Correctional Centre will hold 260 minimum security inmates. A work crew of 60 inmates will move into the centre in the next few weeks to assist in preparing it for more inmates, who will arrive gradually. Work is scheduled to be completed by July 2015, at a cost of $4 million.

“Some years ago when the prison population fell the Government closed various facilities and channelled the savings into hospitals, roads and schools,” Mr Hazzard said.

“Today with the increasing prison population it is a sensible time to re-open Kirkconnell Correctional Centre.

“I thank the Corrective Services officers who have worked extremely well and look forward to working with them as we re-establish Kirkconnell Correctional Centre,” Mr Hazzard said.