Cooma Correctional Centre

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Cooma Correctional Centre
Location Cooma, New South Wales
Coordinates 36°13.978′S 149°07.370′E / 36.232967°S 149.122833°E / -36.232967; 149.122833Coordinates: 36°13.978′S 149°07.370′E / 36.232967°S 149.122833°E / -36.232967; 149.122833
Status Operational
Security class Minimum to medium
(males and females)
Capacity 160[1]
Opened 1 November 1873;
8 March 1957;
November 2001[2]
Closed early 1900s;
10 July 1998
Former name Cooma Gaol
Managed by Corrective Services NSW

Cooma Correctional Centre, an Australian minimum to medium prison for males and females, is located in Cooma, New South Wales. The centre is operated by Corrective Services NSW an agency of the Department of Attorney General and Justice of the Government of New South Wales. The centre detains sentenced and unsentenced felons under New South Wales and/or Commonwealth legislation.

Adjacent to the Correctional Centre is the Corrective Services NSW Museum, showcasing the history of NSW Corrections since 1788.[3]


Construction of the Cooma Correctional Centre commenced in 1870 from local granite which was quarried from the hill where the Centre now stands. The Centre commenced operations on 1 November 1873 with 31 cells. In 1876 it was reduced to a Police Gaol and then a temporary Lunatic Asylum in 1877. The Centre closed temporarily in the early 1900s.

The Gaol reopened on 8 March 1957 and was again closed 10 July 1998. Cooma Correctional Centre reopened for the second time in November 2001 following a 20 per cent increase in the prison population between 1995 and 2001.[2]


The Centre is a minimum and medium security institution for inmates held in protective custody, such as former police officers,[4] prison officers and other high-profile inmates, who would be at risk in the general prison system.[2]

Located one hour's drive south of Canberra, 410 kilometres (250 mi) from Sydney and 652 kilometres (405 mi) from Melbourne, the Centre accommodates 160 inmates.[1] There is approximately 53 staff, consisting of 31 custodial officers, 9 overseers and 13 support staff.

When not in use, the Cooma Correctional Centre has also been a storage space for the Australian Army and for the Snowy Mountains Scheme.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Cooma Correctional Centre". Corrective Services NSW. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "Cooma gaol to re-open". Cooma–Monaro Express. 3 September 2001. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  3. ^ "Cooma's gaol museum to reopen". Cooma–Monaro Express. 14 October 2004. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  4. ^ Masters, Chris (27 July 2004). "Training Day". Four Corners. Australia. ABC TV. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 

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