NSW's Crackdown On Crime Has Pushed Jail Population To Capacity

Parklea Correctional Centre/ GEO Group

The NSW government has been criticised for how it has handled the rise in prisoner numbers in state prisons after one state institution has been forced to fit three men into two-man cells.

Authorities say the government’s new crime policing policies, which have resulted in a 7% increase in prisoner numbers since in the 18 months to December 2013, were implemented without creating more jail space to hold the convicted.

BOCSAR director Don Weatherburn says the rate the jail population has increased will make it “very difficult to bring additional capacity online fast enough to deal with the growth.”

However Corrective Services commissioner Peter Severin said despite the squeeze, public health guidelines are being followed.

In 2011 the state government closed the Parramatta, Kirkconnell and Berrima prisons to save money but the recent bulge in numbers has forced the government to start considering solutions to the problem it created.

“The government is considering a range of options to deal with the fluctuations in numbers,” a Corrective Services spokesman told The Sydney Morning Herald.

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