Construction has begun on a minimum-security prison in the heart of Unanderra’s industrial area.
The site, on Lady Penrhyn Drive, was previously used as part of the NSW government’s Community Offender Support Programs, which gave parolees emergency housing immediately after leaving prison.
Minister for Corrections David Elliott said it was being recommissioned as part of the government’s $3.8 billion plan to increase capacity in the prison system.
To be known as the Illawarra Reintegration Centre, it will house 60 minimum-security inmates on work-release programs.
Jobs would be created during construction, as well as 22 positions when operational early next year.
‘’NSW is facing an increasing prison population so new facilities are required,’’ Mr Elliott said.
‘’Our police are doing their job in making our communities safer and this upgrade will provide improved opportunities for rehabilitation.’’
Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin said inmates near the end of their sentences would be carefully selected to ensure community safety.
‘’The work-release program gives minimum security inmates at the end of their
sentence an opportunity to get job skills to assist their reintegration into the community and ultimately improve community safety,” he said.
Preliminary site works are now underway, and will include relocation of internal utilities; excavation and earthworks; tree removal; the renovation of existing buildings in addition to the new build.