New jail will take time: Costa
IT may not happen before the election in a few weeks, but Grafton has been assured it is next in the queue for a new jail.
Having been asked on Monday if a new jail was part of any “sweetener” being touted for the Clarence electorate, a spokesperson for the Corrective Services Minister Phil Costa said a jail was “not on the agenda” in the short term.
But an official email response to The Daily Examiner’s inquiries yesterday provided some more details.
“Grafton remains the preferred location for the next new correctional centre to be built in NSW,” the statement read.
“Over recent months there has been a downward trend in the prisoner population.
“This trend, combined with the new community-based Intensive Correction Orders, should see further reductions in the number of full-time custodial inmates.
“The timing for a new jail in Grafton will be determined once there is a clearer picture of future prisoner numbers and the capability of the existing jail to deliver adequate corrective services.”
Sources within the existing jail claim the antiquated structure of the facility means it runs inefficiently compared to modern facilities such as Kempsey, which handles roughly triple the number of prisoners with the same number of staff as Grafton.
However, The Daily Examiner was unable to have this confirmed by the Department of Corrective Service yesterday.