Australia’s largest women’s prison focussing on education, work skills and programs has been officially opened in Sydney by the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes, representing Minister for Counter Terrorism and Corrections Anthony Roberts.
Dillwynia Correctional Centre at Windsor can now house up to 531 female inmates following a fit-for-purpose 248-bed expansion, which includes new outdoor spaces and learning areas.
Minister Roberts said the facility would be focussed on preparing women for a successful life outside of prison and to help reduce their chances of reoffending.
“The NSW Government is committed to reducing reoffending by five per cent by 2023 and we are on track to reach that target,” Mr Roberts said.
“This centre includes increased work opportunities, programs and education, which will help improve an offender’s reintegration once they’re released.”
“The expansion is part of the NSW Government’s $3.8 billion investment into better and safer prisons.”
The new accommodation, learning rooms and industries areas were created using the concept of ‘trauma-informed’ design principles to support the wellbeing and rehabilitation of women.
Commissioner Peter Severin says the expansion supports Dillwynia’s ‘graduated living’ model, which allows inmates to remain in a facility for their entire sentence.
“Stability helps inmates complete rehabilitation programs, focus on education and maintain family connections that ultimately reduce reoffending,” Mr Severin said.
An additional 107 jobs for prison staff have been created at the facility, while more than 1611 tradespeople worked on the construction project.
Features of the upgrades include:
- 248 maximum and medium-security beds in two-storey accommodation
- New educational and activities amenities
- 73 inmate employment opportunities, including 15 at a new industrial laundry
- New visitor and inmate processing centre
The centre expects to house its first inmates in late November.