The expansion at Cessnock Correctional Centre will prepare inmates for a ‘law-abiding life’.
Minister for Counter Terrorism and Corrections Anthony Roberts officially opened the 240-bed minimum-security expansion yesterday.
He said the new wing will focus on inmate employment and training to assist inmates in preparing for a law-abiding life outside of prison.
“The NSW Government is committed to reducing reoffending by five per cent by 2023, and the key to that outcome is ensuring a strong focus on inmate skills, training and education,” Anthony Roberts said.
“It’s important for inmates to apply themselves and receive valuable on-the-job experience in a structured work environment, so they have the confidence to lead a positive life upon release.”
The expansion includes five new minimum-security accommodation blocks, a new gatehouse, reception, programs building, visiting area and health clinic.
Corrective Services NSW Acting Commissioner Kevin Corcoran PSM said the centre’s new wing would focus on inmate employment engagement, vocational training and program participation to maximise support for inmates nearing the end of their sentences.
“This new facility will strive to engage inmates in work and training for 10 hours each day giving them valuable experience to seek ongoing paid-work when re-integrated back into the community,” Kevin Corcoran said.
“Providing meaningful work experience, targeted programs and opportunities for inmates to gain skills are important strategies to help break the cycle of reoffending.”