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Grafton Correctional Centre marks 125 years

Publication Date: Thursday 23 August 2018

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Staff at Grafton Correctional Centre are inviting the community to help them celebrate on 8 September when the heritage-listed prison marks its 125th year with a special event.

The landmark correctional centre on Hoof Street will host a Corrective Services NSW K9 Unit and escort vehicle displays, historical images, a charity barbecue and inmate-produced products for purchase, with all funds going to Buy a Bale.

Grafton Governor Michelle Paynter said the prison was an important building for Grafton, not just as a historical location, but as a long-term employer in the region.

“The centre opened in 1893 with just 27 inmates and now houses 280 men and women, who are managed by 70 staff, including custodial officers, industry overseers and psychologists,” Ms Paynter said.

“We’re very excited about welcoming the community to our workplace to learn about our history, culture and the changing face of corrections in NSW over 125 years.”

The CSNSW band will also be in attendance on the day, while a commemorative plaque will be unveiled to mark the milestone.

Corrective Service NSW Commissioner Peter Severin said he was looking forward to joining staff and the community to celebrate.

“The staff at Grafton do an incredible job in managing inmates and offering programs to reduce reoffending,” Mr Severin said.

“Their work often goes unnoticed because it occurs behind the prison walls, but it should not go unacknowledged. As we mark the 125th year of this important regional facility, I want to thank them for their excellent work.”

Grafton Gaol was built in 1893 to replace an existing prison considered too small, flood-prone and unhygienic. The first correctional facilities were established in Grafton in 1862.

The gaol’s design was the result of a public competition in 1891 won by Sydney architect Henry Austin Wilshire, who beat 41 other entrants for the £105 prize money.

Made primarily of brick, sandstone and terracotta tiles, the £17,000 gaol was built by leading English construction company, Holloway Bros and was gazetted on 8 September 1893. The first inmates moved into the facility two months later.

Grafton Correctional Centre 125th anniversary celebration

170 Hoof Street, Grafton Saturday 

8 September 2018 

10am – 2pm