Prison crisis on the brink

Retired jail governor and author John Heffernan has been a consistent critic of the NSW Government for its decision to downsize or close jails.
Retired jail governor and author John Heffernan has been a consistent critic of the NSW Government for its decision to downsize or close jails. Jojo Newby

A FORMER Grafton Jail governor says the NSW Government has to come clean on its plans for the prison system instead of constantly saying what it is not going to do.

Retired jail governor and author John Heffernan has been a consistent critic of the NSW Government for its decision to downsize or close jails.

Over the past month the Corrective Services NSW has been quizzed over rumours Grafton Jail, which was downsized in 2012, would be reactivated in response to the record number of prisoners in the prison system.

One of the rumours Mr Heffernan had heard was 100 female prisoners could be accommodated at the jail.

Corrective Services denied all the rumours, but Mr Heffernan said this is not good enough.

"I for one am sick and tired of the constant denials of both the department and the government of any plans to reopen closed correctional centres or build new jails," he said.

"I really think it's about time they stopped telling the community what they are not going to do and started telling us what they are going to do to address the rising inmate population.

"The government is on notice that the inmate population is going to rise next year to a record level - a level that the current system simply will in no way be able to cope."

Mr Heffernan said the continued delaying tactics are hard to explain.

He said the Bureau of Crime Statistics figures showed prison numbers of on track to hit 12,500 by March next year.

"I'm starting to wonder if in fact there is any plan or whether they are going to be purely reactive and wait until it happens," he said.

"Meanwhile their protracted inaction is placing correctional officers lives at risk as they struggle to manage frustrated prisoners in overcrowded conditions."

Topics:  grafton jail jail

Council sticks to its guns over fleet leasing plan

Councillors Karen Toms and Richie Williamson were involved in a heated exchange related to a late rescission motion put forward by Cr Williamson to the Clarence Valley Council meeting held on Tuesday, 21st February, 2017.

Attempt to overturn November 30 debt resolution has failed

COVER IMAGE: Freya's colourful snap sells cultural festival

Multi-coloured powder shot adorns cover of plunge festival guide

Expect delays on Pacific Highway

Changed traffic conditions due to blasting

Local Partners

Bliss N Eso announce tribute show for stuntman

AUSSIE hip hop outfit Bliss N Eso have announced they will play a tribute show for the stuntman killed during the filming of their music video.

MOVIE REVIEW: Trainspotting sequel as good as original

Ewen Bremner in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

Director Danny Boyle proves sequels can be done well.

How Karl Stefanovic's wife, kids found out about girlfriend

Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarbrough after their day on Sydney Harbour. Picture: Jonathan Ng

Pictures splashed across tabloid were shock to family

WATCH: Toowoomba opera hopeful's incredible voice

Kaitlyn Orange attends Opera Queensland auditions at Empire Theatres for Opera at Jimbour, Saturday, February 18, 2017.

Opera hopefuls vie for parts in performance at Jimbour House

MKR turns spiteful in suddendeath elimination

Alyse and Matt battled Josh and Amy in a spiteful elimination cook-off.

Bottom of the ladder faces off in spiteful sudden-death cook-off.

Jilted Married At First Sight groom rejected again

Is Married at First Sight groom's second chance over already?

Author takes novel approach with publishing

DIY: Yamba author Jasmine Lee will launch her self-published book, Orion's Belt, next month.

Belief key to Jasmine Lee's approach to self-publishing

Houses selling like hot cakes

HIGH DEMAND: Maclean Valley 2 Coast principal Ingrid Nott.

Valley's housing market pushed by supply shortage and jobs growth

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

Living with river view

LABOUR OF LOVE: Peter and Narelle Cauldwell are selling Bemuda Estate in Great Marlow (pictured below).

A rare opportunity to own a luxury estate

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!