Privatisation of NSW Jails reversed
NSW Labor will reverse the privatisation of NSW jails, with Junee Correctional Centre returning to public ownership for the first time in 30 years followed by the notorious Parklea jail in western Sydney. The NSW government has confirmed the contract with US multinational GEO Group for the southern NSW prison will not be renewed after 2025. The government estimates that it will cost the state $75 million a year to operate Junee at full capacity. Junee prison is one of the largest in the state, housing more than 1000 inmates, including more than 480 maximum security prisoners. It has been plagued by problems, with Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame in May finding the healthcare of Kamilaroi man Reuben Button, who died at the prison in 2020, was hampered by significant resourcing issues.
The contract for Parklea Correctional Centre, which was privatised in 2009 and managed by MTC Australia, will expire after the Junee centre, and the government’s policy is not to renew it. NSW’s third privately run prison, Clarence, which opened near Grafton in 2020 and is operated by Serco, still has several years remaining on its contract.