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​New Sydney centre increases inmates’ access to education and drug rehabilitation

Issued: Wednesday 31 May 2017

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The number of inmates undertaking education and rehabilitation at a Sydney prison will more than double following the opening of an expanded and enhanced programs unit.

The unit at the Outer Metropolitan Multi-Purpose Correctional Centre near Windsor, in Sydney’s north-west, will also allow Corrective Services NSW to increase the number of male inmates participating in substance abuse programs.

Commissioner Peter Severin said the larger unit would help CSNSW to meet the NSW Government’s target to reduce reoffending by 5 per cent by 2019.

“This improved and much larger space will allow Corrective Services staff to enrol hundreds more inmates annually in education and programs, particularly the specialised Intensive Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program (IDATP),” Mr Severin said.

“The cognitive-behaviour therapy IDATP offers group involvement, peer support, education and vocational training, as well as assisting offenders when they resettle in the community.”

Minister for Corrections David Elliott said the NSW Government last year announced a $237 million plan to reduce reoffending through the delivery of more rehabilitation programs and enhanced supervision to priority offenders.

“The four-year plan is the biggest financial investment into rehabilitation in the history of Corrective Services NSW,” Mr Elliott said.

“We want to rehabilitate as many inmates as possible by addressing their offending behaviour and providing the tools they need to stay out of prison.”

Corrective Services industries, which uses inmate labour, was responsible for the construction of the new purpose-built IDAPT programs area, which includes staff posts, group and interview rooms.

The project also included the renovation of the existing education area to occupy staff from the case management, IDAPT and education and vocational training areas.

The team of inmates who worked on the construction project gained valuable skills and practiced up-to-date building techniques.

The Outer Metropolitan Multi-Purpose Correctional Centre houses around 380 minimum security male inmates and is located at the John Morony Correctional Complex.