Junee Correctional Centre
|Location||Junee, New South Wales|
|Security class||Medium/Minimum (males only)|
|Capacity||Medium - 650; Minimum - 140|
|Opened||19 March 1993|
|Managed by||GEO Group Australia|
Junee Correctional Centre, an Australian medium and minimum security prison for males, is located at Junee, New South Wales, 450 kilometres (280 mi) south-west of Sydney and 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Wagga Wagga. The first privately run correctional centre in NSW, Junee Correctional Centre opened on 19 March 1993 following an expression of interest process initiated by the Government of New South Wales.
The contract for operation of the Centre was initially let to Australasian Correctional Management Pty Ltd, now known as the GEO Group Australia Pty Limited, an Australian subsidiary of The GEO Group, Inc. (NYSE: GEO). The GEO Group operates the Centre under licence and is subject to a management agreement between the Commissioner for Corrective Services and the GEO Group. The Commissioner for Corrective Services is the leading executive of Corrective Services NSW, an agency of the Department of Attorney General and Justice, of the Government of New South Wales.
The Centre accepts felons charged and convicted under New South Wales and/or Commonwealth legislation and serves as a reception prison for southern New South Wales and the Riverina. All inmates are held in individual cells, with certain cells equipped to accommodate inmates in accordance with the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
During 1989, representatives of the New South Wales Department of Corrections, including the Minister for Corrective Services, Michael Yabsley, visited the United States to learn first-hand about private corrections management. They toured US state and federal managed corrections facilities as well as privately managed correction facilities. Once satisfied that substantial benefits could be gained from private contract management, coalition support was gained and laws were amended. Instructions went out to government agencies to develop a competitive process to bring private corrections management to New South Wales. It was also decided that to allow for maximum efficiencies in management, the government would also call for tenders for private design and construction of a new prison.
Following a call to local government authorities for an expression of interest in a privately managed correctional facility being located within local government boundaries, Junee town leaders and the elected representatives strongly supported the concept, and the town was selected as the site for a new correctional centre. The ensuing years saw extensive community consultation by both Corrective Services NSW and NSW Public Works as the government went about selecting an appropriate building contractor and final operator. By 1991, the NSW Government executed a contract with Australasian Correctional Services Pty Limited (ACS) for design and construction, and another contract with the same company for the management of the centre. ACS in turn executed two contracts, one with Thiess Contractors for the design and construction of the facility and one with Australasian Correctional Management Pty Ltd (ACM) for the management of the centre.
The Centre, completed in 1993 at a cost of A$53m, was expected upon opening to have a 30 per cent cost saving compared to traditional government prison operations. A special focus of this facility was the establishment of a private industry program to provide employment, valuable skills training and wages to inmates. Two other correctional centres built by the NSW Government at that time, but with each half capacity, were budgeted to cost A$57m each.
New South Wales was the second state in Australia, after Queensland, to introduce private prisons. Junee was the first prison in Australia to be designed, constructed and managed by the private sector under a single contractual arrangement. The prison is managed by the GEO Group Australia, which was granted a new contract in 2001. Following the October 2009 privatisation of Parklea Correctional Centre, Junee is one of two privately operated correctional centres in New South Wales, both operated by GEO Group Australia.
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- Junee Correctional Centre webpage - part of the GEO Group Australia
- Champion, Ronald; Curnow, William (1993). "Corrections contract management in New South Wales: the Junee experience" (PDF). The Issues– Corrections (Australian Institute of Criminology): 93–101. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
- Harding, Richard W (May 1992). "Private Prisons in Australia" (PDF). Trends and Issues in crime and criminal justice (Australian Institute of Criminology) (36). ISSN 0817-8542. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
- Roth, Lenny (July 2004). "Privatisation of Prisons" (PDF). Background Paper No 3/04. Parliament of New South Wales. ISSN 1325-5142. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
- "Junee Correctional Centre". GEO Group Australia. Retrieved 15 April 2012.