A new 480-bed maximum-security prison wing was opened today at Junee Correctional Centre, as part of the NSW Government’s $3.8 billion investment in safer communities.
Minister for Counter Terrorism and Corrections Anthony Roberts, Cootamundra MP Steph Cooke and Corrective Services NSW Assistant Commissioner Carlo Scasserra attended the ceremonial prison-keys handover with General Manager Scott Brideoake.
“Junee prison is one of the biggest employers in the Riverina and its expansion has led to an additional 130 ongoing jobs in the area and a continuing investment in the region,” Mr Roberts said.
“The new modern prison wing will enhance the prison’s strong reputation in reducing reoffending through improved inmate access to education, programs and training.”
Ms Cooke said the construction project had already made a positive contribution to the Wagga Wagga and Junee economies.
“At the peak of construction there were between 250-300 tradies working hard on site to ensure the new prison wing was on time and on budget. During that time, they were shopping, eating and staying locally,” Ms Cooke said.
Mr Scasserra said the new wing would strengthen the prison’s focus on inmate rehabilitation.
“A dedicated new industries building with bakery, laundry and other operations will ensure inmates are readily employed and learning skills to prepare them for life on the outside,” Mr Scasserra said.
Mr Brideoake of the GEO Group Australia, which operates the centre, said the expansion project included many benefits for the prison’s staff and inmates.
“We welcome the refurbishment and expansion of our gatehouse, health centre, inmate reception and administration building to make a better workplace,” Mr Brideoake said.
Work will continue into next year, with the refurbishing of support areas within the existing centre and construction of a new 10-bed female unit.
While in Junee, Minister Roberts will draw the raffle winner of a 1987 Holden VL Commodore restored by inmates to raise money for charity Country Hope.
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