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New Prison Unlocked for Inmates


A new 40-bed facility has now opened at the Ron Barwick Minimum Security Prison at Risdon Prison Complex.

The facility in the low-risk area will become an incentive for well-behaved inmates, who will enjoy enhanced benefits including keys to their own living areas within set time periods. 

"While we make no apologies for being tough on serious crime, we also want offenders to get their lives back on track and become productive, law-abiding members of society who no longer pose a threat to community safet," Minister for Corrections, Elise Archer, said in a statement.

The redeveloped unit will also include housing for inmates with a disability and aged inmates, and includes a wheelchair lift for disabled access.

Director for Prison's Ian Thomas says the prison is very proud of the new building. 

"A little less than a year ago this was a derelict 60-year-old facility that in a former life has been a maximum security facility"

"There needs to be an incentive based scheme in prisons, and we have that in our system, a lot of prisoners come into custody from very dysfunctional and disorganised backgrounds, the first thing we want to give them is structure and organisation," says Mr Thomas.

"And then there were a  number of incentives for them to progress through the system one of those being that there is better accommodation and more facilities available to them if they use your time in prison constructively."

A small number of inmates took part in construction works, helping with the demolition of old infrastructure, steel fabrication and painting the new facility.

Total cost for the facility came in at $1.35 million, with an upcoming $1.65 million invested over the current financial year. 

"Our plans to build a new $270 million prison in the State’s North, with 270 beds and the creation of more than 4000 direct and indirect jobs, is also progressing well," said the Minister.

Inmates will begin to move in from next week.