Brendan Ray

More inmates than beds puts jails at breaking point

THE New South Wales jail system is at breaking point with more inmates than beds, the union for the state's prison workers says.

Public Service Association general secretary Anne Gardiner said there were 11,020 prisoners in a system with only 10,800 beds and that overcrowding would soon translate into violence.

"It's time the NSW government stopped shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic," she said.

"They need to acknowledge their mistakes and release the funding needed to reopen and upgrade the state's prisons and to properly compensate our members when they are injured protecting the people of NSW."

The current NSW Government has shut down three prisons and downgraded one - in Grafton - to a remand centre.

Ms Gardiner said shutting prisons was a ridiculous move when the population was growing and the state found itself in a meth epidemic.

"This government has slashed the workers; compensation protections for our members who work in prisons and now (NSW Attorney-General Brad) Hazzard, the minister responsible for the safety of prison staff, thinks it's okay to create an overcrowding situation which can only lead to an increase of prison staff being assaulted."

- APN NEWSDESK



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