The accommodation blocks for a new 330-bed maximum-security wing of Cessnock Correctional Centre are being installed, six months after construction began in November last year.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC was among guests who toured the site today to see the progress as part of the NSW Government’s $3.8 billion investment to increase prison capacity.
“Modular cells are being installed into the inmate accommodation blocks, with more structural steelwork to follow,” Mr MacDonald said.
“Hundreds of construction workers have been busy carrying out excavation, drainage, earthworks, civil works, erection of walls and steelwork, as well as modification works to the existing operational maximum-security facility.
“Up to 280 jobs are being created during construction while around 70 jobs will be created upon completion, which will have a positive effect on the Hunter economy.”
Minister for Corrections David Elliott said the expansion will bring accommodation for the increasing prison population and focus on reducing reoffending.
“This expansion is in addition to the Hunter Correctional Centre, opened in January, and a separate minimum-security facility to be built on the same complex,” Mr Elliott said.
“Inmates with Corrective Services Industries will be responsible for manufacturing some of the furniture fittings and equipment to be installed, providing skills which will help them become job ready upon release.”
Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin said a temporary visits facility is operational while modification of the existing visits building commences this week.
“The expansion will see the construction of a health clinic, a sports and exercise area and 4,000sqm programs and industries building, which will provide an outlet for inmates to address their rehabilitation needs,” Mr Severin said.
The 330 maximum security beds are part of an extra 1,000 beds for the facility.
Under the management of Justice Infrastructure and Assets, Richard Crookes Construction was awarded the contract last year, with the works expected to be completed mid-2019. A minimum-security facility expansion is still in its planning phase.
For more information, visit newprisons.justice.nsw.gov.au