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Published date: Wednesday 10 April 2019
[PDF version of this media release]
The expansion of Shortland Correctional Centre has been completed, with more jobs for locals and a new 330-bed maximum-security wing ready for operation in the coming months.
Commissioner Perter Severin said the expanded centre will create more than 70 jobs and raise the number of beds at the centre to 580.
“Corrective Services NSW is a major employer in the Hunter region and we’re proud to be strengthening that relationship with the community,” Mr Severin said.
“The expansion of this maximum-security prison will allow us to manage our inmates safely and effectively while providing greater access to education, programs and skills-based employment in prison industries.”
The expansion of the existing 250-bed facility is part of the NSW Government’s $3.8 billion investment into increasing capacity in the state’s prisons to meet demand.
The expansion project, managed by Justice Infrastructure & Assets, was constructed on schedule and on budget by Richard Crookes Construction, who employed a large workforce from the Hunter region.
Director of Custodial Corrections North Glen Scholes said the expansion includes new industries and program spaces.
“These new additions include the construction of a health clinic, a sports and exercise area and 4,000sqm programs and industries building, giving inmates full access to a range of rehabilitative jobs and programs,” Mr Scholes said.
“These facilities aid rehabilitation by addressing offending behaviour and equipping inmates with the knowledge, skills and training they need to gain employment post-release.”
The centre is expected to begin receiving inmates late May, following final operational and security testing.
The former maximum-security section of Cessnock Correctional Centre was renamed Shortland Correctional Centre in June last year after Lieutenant John Shortland, a renowned naval officer and explorer of the Hunter region in the late 1700s.
The centre brings into operation the state’s first modular prison-cells, which are being used at five prison expansion project across NSW, delivering more than 2,000 new maximum-security prison beds.
The centre is expected to be formally commissioned late May.