Corrective Services NSW officers have been put through their paces while testing emergency response procedures at the NSW Government’s most high-tech prison, which is due to open at Wellington in the state’s west tomorrow.
Officers from the specialised Security Operations Group conducted the security response drills with the uniformed and non-uniformed staff set to work at the Rapid-Build Prison - Macquarie Correctional Centre.
With a unique open plan design, Minister for Corrections David Elliott said the 400-bed maximum-security facility featured an innovative operating solution for managing inmates.
“This prison is the first of its kind in the country and it’s important that staff have a comprehensive contingency plan and test every possible scenario,” Mr Elliott said.
“The revolutionary open-plan, dormitory-style pods, mean staff need to familiarise themselves with this unique layout and get used to working in a new facility.”
Assistant Commissioner of Security and Intelligence Mark Wilson PSM said the testing was standard practice for the opening of a correctional centre but the first to occur for a Rapid-Build Prison.
“The rehearsals are real life simulations and cover everything from basic gate-control to major incidents, including escape attempts, fires, assaults, self-harm situations and medical emergencies,” Mr Wilson said.
The Rapid-Build Prison design provides some of the highest-level prison security in the state, featuring a central command post, round-the-clock monitoring and Immediate Action Team officers stationed within the centre 24/7.
Member for Dubbo Troy Grant said the new facility was one of the biggest infrastructure projects Wellington has ever seen.
“The construction of Macquarie Correctional Centre has been a real win for the local economy, bringing 220 new jobs to the region," he said.
"I am confident the new facility will continue to build strong ties with the surrounding communities."