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Publication date: Thursday, 11 August 2016
In a boost to regional investment and community safety, Corrections Minister David Elliott has announced that more than 2,380 jobs and more than 4,165 prison beds will be created as part of the NSW Government's prison infrastructure program.
Minister Elliott yesterday outlined part of the first tranche of prison infrastructure projects announced in the NSW Budget. Mr Elliott said that the NSW Government has committed $3.8 billion over four years to increase the capacity of the correctional system. "These beds support our reform program to lift standards, strengthen accountability and reduce reoffending," he said.
The projects Mr Elliott announced yesterday include modular cells, with 250 beds at Bathurst and 400 beds at Kempsey, and 480 beds at Junee, 240 at Emu Plains and 360 at Nowra.
Corrective Services NSW is consulting with the community about plans to expand the Cessnock Correctional Centre by 1,000 beds, and last week Minister Elliott, Deputy Premier Troy Grant and Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Severin turned the first sod on a 'rapid-build' 400-bed high security prison in Wellington.
Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Severin commented that Corrective Services NSW had developed the innovative design for the rapid-build prisons, and that four will be built across the state. Commissioner Severin said that the design aims to improve inmate productivity and to ensure that they're participating in programs to reduce reoffending, education or work for up to 12 hours a day.
Work has commenced to convert the former Juniperina Juvenile Detention Centre at Lidcombe into an adult women's prison, and two recommissioned prisons will open in the coming months: Berrima in September and Unanderra in January.
Work is also continuing on the new 1,700-bed Grafton Correctional Centre. The centre is set to open in 2020, and the 650-bed extension of the Parklea Correctional Centre is to open in late 2018.
"This expansion program will create more than 2,380 new jobs, including highly-trained correctional officers and administrative staff, and have a positive impact on local businesses through increased trade," Mr Elliott said.
Find out more about the prison infrastructure program.