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​New security classification for lifers

Published date: Saturday, 7 April 2018

Minister for Corrections David Elliott today announced inmates serving a life sentence for some of the worst crimes in this state are to receive a separate ‘Lifer’ classification based on the risk they pose to the community.

The new Lifer classification clarifies security arrangements relating to the management and monitoring of inmates who face little or no prospect of release.

Lifers cannot be housed in minimum-security prisons, and their classification cannot be reduced despite the number of years they have served.

Mr Elliott said the Lifer classification provided certainty for victims and their families about the management of the worst of the worst.

“Lifers are responsible for some of the most horrendous crimes in the state, and this new classification provides assurance that these inmates will serve out their full and just punishment of life behind barbed wire,” Mr Elliott said.

“There will no longer be the prospect of any change in their classification, and they will always remain in secure confinement to ensure we are keeping the community safe.”

The Lifer classification forms part of the NSW Government response to the recommendations of the Upper House Inquiry into the security classification and management of inmates sentenced to life imprisonment.

Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin said inmates subject to this new Lifer classification will never be reclassified.

“From today, only their placement and case management within the prison system will be periodically reviewed by the Serious Offender’s Review Council,” Mr Severin said.

“CSNSW takes great care to determine appropriate the security classification and placement for inmates in order to maintain the safety and security of our prisons — and the Lifer classification provides one more tool to manage these inmates.”