Goulburn Correctional Centre

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Goulburn Correctional Centre
Main entrance to the Complex, opened in 1884, designed by the Colonial Architect. James Barnet.
Location Goulburn, New South Wales
Coordinates 34°44′29″S 149°44′26″E / 34.74139°S 149.74056°E / -34.74139; 149.74056Coordinates: 34°44′29″S 149°44′26″E / 34.74139°S 149.74056°E / -34.74139; 149.74056
Status Operational
Security class Super Maximum, Maximum, and Minimum (Males only)
Opened 1 July 1884
Former name Goulburn Gaol (1847 – 1928)
Goulburn Reformatory (1928 – 1949)
Goulburn Training Centre (1949 – 1993)
Goulburn Correctional Centre (1993 – present)
Managed by Corrective Services NSW

The Goulburn Correctional Centre, an Australian super-maximum, maximum, and minimum security prison for males, is located in Goulburn, New South Wales, three kilometres north-east of the central business district. The facility is operated by Corrective Services NSW, an agency of the Department of Attorney General and Justice, of the Government of New South Wales. The Complex accepts prisoners charged and convicted under New South Wales and/or Commonwealth legislation and serves as a reception prison for Southern New South Wales, and, in some cases, for inmates from the Australian Capital Territory.

The current structure incorporates a massive, hand-carved sandstone gate and façade (pictured above right) that was opened in 1884 based on designs by the Colonial Architect, James Barnet. The High Risk Management Centre (commonly called the SuperMax) was opened in September 2001. This was the first such facility in Australia and makes the Centre the highest security prison in Australia.[1]


Goulburn's first lock-up was built around 1830 and gallows were built as early as 1832 when floggings were common.[2] The first Goulburn Gaol was proclaimed on 28 June 1847, attached to the local Courthouse. When the Controller of Prisons first reported to parliament in 1878 Goulburn Gaol had accommodation for 63 segregated and 127 associated prisoners, and held 66 prisoners; inclusive of one female.[3]

New premises were in the process of erection in 1881 as part of a scheme to 'bring the Colony from its backward position as regards to prison buildings'. The building called and known by the name of the New Gaol at Goulburn on the current site was proclaimed as a Public Gaol, Prison and House of Correction from 1 July 1884. The gaol also became a place of detention for male prisoners under sentence or transportation. The new gaol increased the capacity of the gaol to 182 separated and 546 associated prisoners. In the year ended 1884 there were a total of 295 prisoners in custody. In 1893 prison labour was used to build an additional 127 cells to Goulburn Gaol, six exercise yards for 'youthful offenders' and a further yard for prisoners awaiting trial. This extension enabled Goulburn gaol to operate on the principle of restricted association which was gradually being adopted throughout the Colony. The following year additional cells were erected for female prisoners. The '7th class' prisoners were moved into the former women's cells thus preventing contact between these young prisoners and serious offenders. Steam cooking facilities were installed and a 70-foot (21 m) chimney was erected, new workshops were planned to create one of the most complete prison complexes in NSW.[3]

The prison was renamed the Goulburn Reformatory in 1928, and became known as the Goulburn Training Centre in 1949. In 1992 the centre was again renamed - Goulburn Correctional Centre.[3]

Initially, Goulburn was one of the principal gaols in NSW. Its early prime focus was upon the first offenders where a program of employment, educational opportunities, physical education in addition to the scheme of restricted association was credited for a relatively low level of re-offending.[3]

In 2015 Goulburn attracted controversy after prisoner a Stephen who was housed in the maximum security wing escaped after he cut through a gate at the back of a small secure exercise yard attached to his cell, tied bed sheets together to scale a wall, and put a pillow around his waist to avoid being hurt by razor wire.[4][5] In the same year the Minister for Corrections announced that security would be tightened following a breach when an inmate was caught with a contraband mobile phone that he used to upload pictures and text to a social media website.[6][7]

High-Risk Management Correctional Centre[edit]

Opened in 2001 at a cost of A$20 million,[8] the Super Maximum facility is located within the confines of the Goulburn Correctional Centre. Initially called the High-Risk Management Unit (HRMU, also referred to by inmates as HARM-U), it was Australia's first Supermax prison since the closure of the Katingal facility at the Long Bay Correctional Centre in 1978. The facility is the most secure prison within the NSW correctional system, and the inmates are subject to very strict daily regimes, and under intense scrutiny by security. Goulburn HRMCC has received complaints by prisoners, including the lack of natural light and fresh air; access to legal books; the use of isolation and solitary confinement; limited and enclosed exercise; self-mutilation and harsh treatment.[9][10] A 2008 report by the New South Wales Ombudsman explained that there is “no doubt… that the HRMU does not provide a therapeutic environment for these inmates”.[11]

In spite of the security measures inside the HRMCC, in June 2011 it was reported that an unnamed inmate in the Centre had allegedly smuggled a mobile phone into the unit and plotted two kidnappings and a shooting. Criminal charges were laid against the inmate and his alleged co-conspirators.[12]

Notable prisoners[edit]

  • Malcolm George Baker – serving six consecutive terms of life imprisonment plus 25 years without the possibility of parole for the Central Coast Massacre in 1992.
  • Darryl Burrell – convicted of armed robbery, attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. Only person to ever successfully escape from the Death Cells, once caught trying to go over the wall to freedom, but succeeded on his second attempt when he escaped in the boot of a car with two girls he had just met at a football game. Died in 2012 of cancer.[13]
  • Leslie Camilleri – sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment plus 183 years without the possibility of parole for the Bega schoolgirl murders and the murder of Prue Bird in 1992; held at the prison before being extradited
  • Ray Denning – armed robber and serial prison escapee.[14]
  • Sef Gonzales – sentenced to three consecutive terms of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for the murders of his parents, Teddy and Mary Loiva, and younger sister Clodine.
  • Bassam Hamzy – jailed for the 1998 shooting murder of Kris Toumazis outside a Sydney nightclub, and was subsequently convicted for conspiring to murder a witness against him. Founder of the Brothers for Life street gang.[15]
  • Lindsay Rose – sentence to 5 consecutive terms of life imprisonment without parole for contract killings, including the murder of his former girlfriend and her friend
  • Robert Hughes – actor and star of Australian sitcom Hey Dad!, sentenced to ten years and nine months with a non-parole period of six years for sexual offences against children in the 1980s.[16]
  • Sam Ibrahim – brother of John Ibrahim, pleaded guilty to possession of four prohibited weapons.[17]
  • Stephen "Shorty" Jamieson – Sentenced to life imprisonment plus 25 years without parole for the murder of Janine Balding.
  • Michael Kanaan – sentenced to three consecutive terms of life imprisonment plus 50 years 4 months without the possibility of parole for three murders in Sydney in 1998.
  • Ivan Milat – sentenced to seven consecutive terms of life imprisonment plus 18 years without the possibility of parole for the Belanglo State Forest backpacker murders.[18]
  • Les Murphy – the youngest of the Murphy brothers convicted of the murder of Anita Cobby, and the only one of the five men convicted with the possibility of parole. Sentenced to life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 34 years, but unlikely to ever be released.
  • Malcolm Naden – at the time of his arrest in 2012, was Australia's most wanted fugitive. Sentenced to life imprisonment plus 40 years without parole for two murders, an indecent assault on a 12-year-old girl and the attempted murder of a police officer.[19]
  • Ngo Canh Phuong – sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for the assassination of Cabramatta MP John Newman.
  • George Savvas (deceased in 1997) – wholesale narcotics dealer who escaped from the prison for nine months in 1997 while serving a 25-year sentence.[20]
  • Bilal Skaf – sentenced to 38 years' imprisonment (32-year non-parole period) for his involvement in the Sydney gang rapes in 2000.[21]
  • Michael Murphy – Sentenced to life imprisonment plus 50 years without the possibility of parole for the murder of Anita Cobby.
  • John Travers – sentenced to life imprisonment plus 65 years without the possibility of parole for the murder of Anita Cobby.
  • Mark Valera (van Krevel) – sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole over the 1998 murders of David O'Hearn and Frank Arkell.
  • 2005 Sydney terrorism plot co-conspirers Khaled Cheikho, Moustafa Cheikho, Mohamed Ali Elomar, Abdul Rakib Hasan, and Mohammed Omar Jamal – sentenced to between 23 and 28 years' imprisonment for conspiring to commit a terrorist act.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mitchell, Alex (22 April 2007). "Mastermind recruiting Islamic gang inside super jail". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Fast Fact: Goulburn Gaol". Tourism Business Unit of Goulburn Mulwaree Council. Retrieved 5 January 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Goulburn Gaol (1847 - 1928) / Goulburn Reformatory (1928 - 1949) / Goulburn Training Centre (1949 - 1993) / Goulburn Correctional Centre (1993 - )". State Records. Government of New South Wales. 1996. 
  4. ^ "Maximum security prisoner Stephen Jamieson ties bed sheets together, climbs jail wall to escape from Goulburn prison". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 18 August 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "Australia inmate captured after using bed sheets to flee". BBC News. 18 August 2015. Retrieved 24 December 2015. 
  6. ^ Ralston, Nick (30 September 2015). "Prisoner Beau Wiles posts to Facebook, escapes from Goulburn jail". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 December 2015. 
  7. ^ "Prisoner escapes from Goulburn Correctional Centre NSW". ABC News. Australia. 30 September 2015. Retrieved 24 December 2015. 
  8. ^ "Chronology of the Prisoner Movement in Australia". Justice Action. Archived from the original on 20 January 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2012. 
  9. ^ Brown, David (5 September 2003). "Contemporary comment: The Nagle Royal Commission 25 years on (speech delivered to the NSW Council of Liberties at NSW Parliament House". Current Issues in Criminal Justice. 15 (2): 170–175. 
  10. ^ Brown, David (2004). "Royal Commissions and criminal justice: behind the ideal.". In Gilligan, G; Pratt, J. Crime, Truth and Justice: Official inquiry, discourse, knowledge. United Kingdom: William Publishing. 
  11. ^ Barbour, Bruce (2008). "Corrections: High-Risk Management Unit". Annual Report 2007 – 2008 (PDF). New South Wales Ombudsman. p. 128. Retrieved 6 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "Goulburn SuperMax inmate using smuggled mobile phone allegedly plotted kidnappings and shooting". Daily Telegraph. Australia. 9 June 2011. Retrieved 6 January 2012. 
  13. ^ Molloy, Paul; Dasey, Jason (23 June 1980). "Controls on prisoners to be tightened". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 December 2015. 
  14. ^ Jack The Insider Blog (24 August 2011). "Ray Denning and lessons un - learnt in our justice system". The Australian. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  15. ^ Sutton, Candace (13 August 2013). "Is Australia's most dangerous gangster Bassam Hamzy still in control?". news.com.au. Retrieved 24 December 2015. 
  16. ^ "Hey Dad! actor Robert Hughes taunted and pelted with excrement by fellow inmates". news.com.au. 3 August 2015. Retrieved 24 December 2015. 
  17. ^ Barrett, David (24 June 2009). "Sam Ibrahim's wife doesn't want him in Supermax". The Daily Telegraph. Australia. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  18. ^ Robinson, Georgina (27 January 2009). "Ivan Milat cuts off a finger". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  19. ^ Walsh, Gerard (23 March 2012). "Naden in 'good spirits' in Supermax". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  20. ^ Gibbs, Stephen (21 January 2006). "Great escapes". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  21. ^ "Skaf lampoons gang rape". The Sunday Age. Melbourne. AAP. 20 July 2003. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Cronin, Michelle (2001). "Goulburn jail a hell-hole, says activist." Canberra Times
  • (2001). "Australia's 'most secure' prison to open at Goulburn today." Canberra Times. 1 June.
  • (2007). "Gang Rapist Bashed in Prison." Canberra Times. 10 February.
  • (1997). "George back in jail after two minutes in court." Daily Telegraph (Sydney). 22 March.

External links[edit]