A group of green-thumbed prisoners are responsible for a recent beautification project at one of the Illawarra’s most picturesque retreats.
Four inmates from Nowra’s South Coast Correctional Centre spent a day clearing scrub and maintaining gardens at Jamberoo Abbey, located halfway up Jamberoo Mountain Road.
The work is part of a wider work project by Correctives Services, which has seen inmates spend a total of 732 hours – the equivalent of 91 working days - improving community spaces in less than three months.
Community Projects Senior Overseer Paul Rae said the abbey, usually a place of silent prayer, peaceful walks and reflection, welcomed the sound of clattering tools.
“The work release program gives inmates the opportunity to build their skills while making a positive contribution to the community,” he said.
“Projects like these allow the inmates to gain experience in painting, carpentry and landscaping while fostering a sense of social responsibility.
“Being able to pitch in with repairs or maintenance work – whether it is for government or community organisations – that has a really positive impact at a local level.”
The supervised work included the construction of a boardwalk over a creek, clearing overgrowth from a lookout and maintenance to the property’s walking tracks.
The project was one of many undertaken by the centre’s inmates recently, including the restoration of a picket fence at a Sanctuary Point oval and participation in a recycling program run by the Illawarra Aboriginal Corporation.