PLEA: Clarence Valley mayor Richie Williamson wrote to NSW Attorney-General Brad Hazzard to request the Grafton Jail be reopened to its full capacity.
PLEA: Clarence Valley mayor Richie Williamson wrote to NSW Attorney-General Brad Hazzard to request the Grafton Jail be reopened to its full capacity. Jojo Newby

Mayor appeals to Attorney-General to reopen Grafton Jail

THE rise in NSW jail numbers has prompted a new move to have the Grafton Jail restored to full operating capacity.

Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson will present a mayoral minute to his fellow councillors this afternoon informing them of the move.

In the minute he says he has written to NSW Attorney General Brad Hazzard requesting the jail be reopened to full operating capacity.

Cr Williamson revealed details of a meeting with Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Severin, where he agreed it was possible to make Grafton Jail a fully operational prison again.

"More recently, as reported both in the media and via the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, the prison population in NSW grew by 13 per cent between September 2012 and late March this year, and has now reached a record number of 10, 917," the letter said.

"I also note the report by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research which suggests that figure could rise by a further 17 per cent by March next year, with a prison population of about 12,500 inmates. If these numbers are reflected in actual figures by March next year this would again strengthen the case to reopen Grafton.

"I believe there is a strong case for Grafton to be reopened as numbers within the system appear to show continual grow."



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