Silverwater Correctional Complex

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Silverwater Correctional Complex
Silverwater Correctional Complex.jpg
Entrance to the Silverwater Correctional Complex
Location Silverwater, New South Wales
Coordinates 33°49′51.5″S 151°3′27.6″E / 33.830972°S 151.057667°E / -33.830972; 151.057667Coordinates: 33°49′51.5″S 151°3′27.6″E / 33.830972°S 151.057667°E / -33.830972; 151.057667
Status Operational
Security class Maximum, minimum (male and female)
Capacity xxx (SCC)
200 (SWCC)
900 (MRRC)
xxx (DdLCC)
Opened 1970 (SWCC)
1997 (MRRC)
Managed by Corrective Services NSW

The Silverwater Correctional Complex, an Australian maximum and minimum security prison complex for males and females, is located in Silverwater, 21 kilometres (13 mi) west of the Sydney central business district in New South Wales, Australia. The complex 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 comprises four separate facilities including Silverwater Correctional Centre (a minimum security prison for males); Silverwater Women's Correctional Centre (a maximum security institution for women and the major reception centre for female offenders in NSW); the Metropolitan Remand & Reception Centre (a maximum security correctional facility for males); and the Dawn de Loas Correctional Centre (a minimum security correctional centre for males).[1]

The complex accepts prisoners charged and convicted under New South Wales and/or Commonwealth legislation and serves as a reception prison for inmates on remand or pending classification.

Silverwater Correctional Centre[edit]

Silverwater Correctional Centre, an Australian minimum security facility for males is located within the complex.[2]

Notable prisoners[edit]

Silverwater Women's Correctional Centre[edit]

The Silverwater Women's Correctional Centre (formerly known as the Mulawa Correctional Centre), an Australian maximum security facility for females is located within the complex. The Centre is divided into twelve living units, a protection/segregation area, an induction unit, a hospital annexe, and provides accommodation for both sentenced and unsentenced inmates and various special program units.[3] The facility opened in 1970 as the old women's prison at Long Bay was converted into a medium security facility for men.[4]

Fraud is the most common reason for imprisonment.[citation needed] Inmates are eligible to study for national recognised qualifications including vocation and TAFE courses.[5]

In the 2010 New South Wales state budget, the prison was allocated $200,000 for a new video conferencing system.[6]

Notable prisoners[edit]

  • Lindy Chamberlain[7][8] – New Zealand-born Australian convicted and later acquitted of murdering her 9-week old daughter Azaria; Chamberlain gave birth to another child of her husband Michael Chamberlain while in custody; she was held at Silverwater (then Mulawa Women's Prison), then transferred to Berrimah Prison; incarcerated from 29 October 1982 to 7 February 1986.
  • Katherine Knight – convicted of the murder of de facto husband John Price
  • Kathleen Folbigg – convicted of the murders of her 3 infant children
  • Theresa Lawson – convicted of the largest fraud in NSW history.
  • Mélina Roberge and Isabelle Lagacé – two French Canadians incarcerated after a world cruise for trying to import a record amount of cocaine into the country.

Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre[edit]

The Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre (MRRC), an Australian maximum security facility for males is located within the complex. The prison opened in 1997, and has a capacity of 900 inmates. It is the largest single correctional centre in Australia.[4] The majority of inmates are unconvicted or unsentenced.[9]

In March, 1999, librarian Lucy Dudko hired a helicopter supposedly to check out the upcoming Olympic site in Sydney. Using a gun, she forced pilot, Tim Joyce, to land within the Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre grounds. Waiting was John Killick, who was serving 28 years for armed robberies. He jumped in the helicopter making an escape while being fired on by guards and cheered on by inmates.[10] They landed in a park where Killick hijacked a taxi at gunpoint. The two were able to elude authorities for six weeks before being arrested at the Bass Hill Tourist Park.[10]

In 2004, the Independent Commission Against Corruption conducted an investigation at the prison which concluded that mobile phones were becoming a significant security threat in Australian correctional facilities.[11]

In April 2012, the facility was inundated with members of outlaw motorcycle clubs. Segregation between members of the same gangs is enforced in an effort to break member ties.[12]

Notable prisoners[edit]

  • Rodney Adler[13][14] – disgraced former director of HIH Insurance and businessman.
  • Hew Raymond Griffiths – British-born Australian alleged software pirate, before his extradition to the US.
  • Man Haron Monis – (1964-2014) convicted "hate mail" campaigner against the families of dead soldiers, faced numerous charges of being an accessory to murder and sexual assault. Perpetrator of the 2014 Sydney Siege, shot dead by federal officers.
  • Phuong Ngo – South Vietnamese Australian politician and businessman convicted of ordering the 1994 killing of Australian NSW state MP John Newman.
  • Dragan Vasiljković – (aka Captain Dragan and Daniel Snedden), former Serbian paramilitary commander and alleged war criminal.

Dawn de Loas Correctional Centre[edit]

The Dawn de Loas Correctional Centre, an Australian minimum security work release centre for males is located within the complex.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Silverwater Correctional Complex". Correctional Centres. Corrective Services NSW. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "New South Wales correctional facilities: Silverwater Correctional Centre". Australian correctional agencies and facilities. Australian Government: Australian Institute of Criminology. 23 August 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "New South Wales correctional facilities: Mulawa Correctional Centre". Australian correctional agencies and facilities. Australian Government: Australian Institute of Criminology. 23 August 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Key moments in Penal Culture in NSW 1970 - present". The Australian Prisons Project. The University of New South Wales. 2010. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  5. ^ NSW Government, Corrective Services, Silverwater Women's Correctional Centre. Retrieved on 10 October 2012.
  6. ^ Brett Winterford (9 June 2010). "NSW Police and prisons get IT budget boost". CRN. Haymarket Media. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  7. ^ Linder, Douglas O (1995–2011). "The Trial of Lindy and Michael Chamberlain: "The Dingo Trial" A Trial Commentary". University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School. 
  8. ^ "The Story: Timeline of events". Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  9. ^ "New South Wales correctional facilities: Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre". Australian correctional agencies and facilities. Australian Government: Australian Institute of Criminology. 23 August 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "Mastermind of helicopter jailbreak freed early". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 9 May 2006. Retrieved 4 November 2011. 
  11. ^ Abby Dinham (3 September 2004). "Mobile phone threat in Australian correctional facilities". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  12. ^ Linda Silmalis (22 April 2012). "These cells at Silverwater jail are for drive-by shooters". The Sunday Telegraph. News Limited. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  13. ^ Alberici, Emma (14 April 2005). "Adler jailed for HIH fiasco" (transcript). The 7.30 Report. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  14. ^ Saville, Margot; Kennedy, Les (15 April 2005). "Bad-boy Rodney sent to his room". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  15. ^ "New South Wales correctional facilities: Dawn de Loas Correctional Centre". Australian correctional agencies and facilities. Australian Government: Australian Institute of Criminology. 23 August 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2012.