Corrective Services New South Wales

  (Redirected from Corrective Services NSW)

Corrective Services New South Wales (CSNSW) is a division of the Department of Communities and Justice of the Government of New South Wales, Australia. CSNSW is responsible for the State's prisons, a juvenile detention centre, and a range of programs for managing offenders in the community. The agency traces its origins back to 1788, when NSW was founded as a penal colony.

Corrective Services NSW
Agency overview
Formed1 July 2009
Preceding Agency
  • Department of Corrective Services
JurisdictionNew South Wales
HeadquartersHenry Deane Building, 20 Lee Street, Haymarket, Sydney
Employees6,000 (2009)
Annual budgetA$1 billion (2009)
Minister responsible
Agency executive
  • Peter Severin,
Parent AgencyDepartment of Family and Community Services and Justice

The services provided include correctional centre custody of remand and sentenced inmates, home detention, parole, pre-sentence reports and advice to courts and releasing authorities, community service orders and other forms of community-based offender supervision. However, unlike other jurisdictions, Corrective Services NSW does not take responsibility for transport of prisoners to and from courts, a role undertaken by NSW Police[1]. Offenders in custody and those supervised in the community are assessed for relevant interventions to reduce their risks of re-offending. Corrective Services NSW works in partnership with other government and non-government justice and human services agencies in regard to inmates in custody and offenders in the community.

The agency head office is in the Henry Deane Building in Haymarket, City of Sydney.[2]


CSNSW's operations are governed by a number of State laws, chief among them the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999. Other relevant laws include the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW), Crimes Act 1900 No 40 (NSW), Crimes (Interstate Transfer of Community Based Sentences) Act 2004 (NSW), Protected Disclosures Act 1994 No 92 (NSW), Summary Offences Act 1988 No 25 (NSW), Prisoners (Interstate Transfer) Act 1982 No 104 (NSW), and Parole Orders (Transfer) Act 1983 No 190 (NSW).


CSNSW is a division of the Department of Communities and Justice, headed by Commissioner Peter Severin, who reports to the Secretary of the Department, Michael Coutts-Trotter. Corrective Services NSW is further divided into six branches, each headed by an assistant commissioner:

  • Custodial Corrections
  • Community Corrections
  • Offender Management & Programs
  • Security & Intelligence
  • Governance & Continuous Improvement
  • Corrections Strategy & Policy.

Ministerial oversight of CSNSW is provided by the Minister for Counter Terrorism and Corrections Anthony Roberts.

Major facilitiesEdit

Facility Operator Male inmates[3] Female inmates[3] Opened
Bathurst Correctional Centre CSNSW 609 8 1888
Berrima Correctional Centre CSNSW
Broken Hill Correctional Centre CSNSW 75 12 1892
Cessnock Correctional Complex CSNSW 1200
Clarence Correctional Centre, Grafton Northern Pathways 2020
Parklea Correctional Complex MTC/Broadspectrum 908
Cooma Correctional Centre CSNSW 160
Silverwater Correctional Complex, Silverwater CSNSW 1,512 298
John Morony Correctional Complex, Berkshire Park CSNSW 399 227
Long Bay Correctional Centre, Malabar, Sydney CSNSW
Goulburn Correctional Centre CSNSW 570
Illawarra Reintegration Centre, Unanderra CSNSW
Junee Correctional Centre GEO Group 701 4
Kariong Juvenile Correctional Centre CSNSW 95
Kirkconnell Correctional Centre CSNSW 240
Lithgow Correctional Centre CSNSW 410
Wellington Correctional Complex CSNSW 1000
Mary Wade Correctional Centre, Lidcombe CSNSW 95
Mid North Coast Correctional Centre, Kempsey CSNSW 489 50
South Coast Correctional Centre, Nowra CSNSW 562 2010


NSW established gaols in Berrima (1836), Cockatoo Island (1839), Darlinghurst (1841), Parramatta (1842), Maitland (1848), and (site of the current Four Seasons hotel located) in The Rocks and later in Goulburn (1884), Bathurst (1888), Broken Hill Correctional Centre (1892) in the state's far west, Long Bay (1909) as the State Reformatory for Women, and Emu Plains (1914).[4] In more recent years, correctional centres (as they are now known) have opened at Parklea (1983), Cessnock, Junee (1993), Lithgow, Silverwater (1997), Brewarrina (2000), John Morony Correctional Centre and Dillwynia Women's Correctional Centre in north-west Sydney, Kempsey (2004), Wellington (2007), and Nowra (2010).[5]

Early years (1788–1874)Edit

Great Britain started the European settlement of the Colony of New South Wales in 1788, establishing a penal colony at what is now Sydney. The incentive to establishment the colony came from the conclusion (1783) of the American War of Independence, which forced Britain to find ways of dealing with criminals other than transporting them to North America. The initial settlement at Sydney Cove in Port Jackson involved housing convicts in tents, guarded by marines. Further convict shipments followed, and a surge of convicts arrived in Sydney after the Napoleonic Wars ended in 1815. Convicts worked for pay and, where good behaviour was demonstrated, could be assigned to masters. Chain gangs operated from 1826 up until transportation ended in 1840.[5]

In the colony's early years, prisons and executions were managed first by the provost marshal, a military officer, and then, from 1824, by the sheriff.

List of provost marshals and sheriffsEdit

Name Title Appointed by Term start Term end Term duration
Henry Brewer Provost Marshal Governor Arthur Phillip 26 January 1788 February 1796 8 years, 6 days
Thomas Smyth Provost Marshal Governor John Hunter February 1796 20 December 1804 8 years, 323 days
Garnham Blaxcell Acting Provost Marshal Governor Philip Gidley King 20 December 1804 1 August 1805 224 days
William Gore Provost Marshal Colonial Secretary Robert Stewart 1 August 1805 8 March 1819 13 years, 219 days
John Thomas Campbell Provost Marshal Governor Lachlan Macquarie 8 March 1819 January 1824 4 years, 299 days
John Mackaness Sheriff Colonial Secretary Henry Bathurst January 1824 November 1827
William Carter Sheriff Attorney-General Alexander Baxter 1828 1828
Thomas Macquoid Sheriff Attorney-General Alexander Baxter 1829 1841
Adolphus William Young Sheriff Attorney-General John Plunkett 1843 1849
Gilbert Eliot Sheriff Attorney-General John Plunkett 1849 1854
John O'Neill Brenan Sheriff Attorney-General John Plunkett 1855 1860
George Richard Uhr Sheriff Attorney-General John Hargrave 1861 1864
Harold Maclean Sheriff Attorney-General James Martin 1864 1874

Departments of Prisons (1874–1970) and Corrective Services (1970–8)Edit

The colony established its first Department of Prisons in 1874, with Sheriff Harold Maclean appointed as the first Comptroller-General.

The Department changed its name to 'Corrective Services' in 1970, and McGeechan's title changed to Commissioner. Eight years later, the Wran Government accepted the Royal Commission's recommendation that the post of commissioner be abolished in favour of a three-person Corrective Services Commission.

List of Comptrollers-GeneralEdit

Name Title Appointed by Term start Term end Term duration
Harold Maclean Comptroller-General Incumbent 1874 1889 15 years, 0 days
George Miller Comptroller-General Justice Minister Albert Gould 8 January 1890 1896 5 years, 358 days
William Neitenstein[6][7][8] Comptroller-General Justice Minister Albert Gould 22 June 1896 17 September 1909 13 years, 87 days
WM McFarlane[9] Comptroller-General Justice Minister John Garland 1 March 1910 29 April 1914 4 years, 59 days
Samuel McCauley[10][11] Comptroller-General Justice Minister David Hall 29 April 1914 19 December 1919 5 years, 234 days
Denis Gaynor D'Arcy Comptroller-General Justice Minister John FitzGerald 31 December 1919 2 February 1922 2 years, 33 days
William Urquhart[12] Comptroller-General Justice Minister William McKell 8 February 1922 17 May 1925 3 years, 98 days
HH McDougall[13] Comptroller-General Justice Minister Thomas Ley 17 May 1925 24 June 1925 38 days
George Steele[14] Comptroller-General Justice Minister William McKell 24 June 1925 31 December 1927 2 years, 190 days
William Francis Hinchy[15] Comptroller-General Justice Minister John Lee 3 January 1928 31 January 1940 12 years, 28 days
George F. Murphy Comptroller-General Attorney-General Henry Manning 31 January 1940 31 July 1947 7 years, 181 days
Leslie Cecil Joshua Nott[16] Comptroller-General Justice Minister Reg Downing 31 July 1947 30 June 1956 8 years, 335 days
Harold Richard Vagg Comptroller-General Justice Minister Reg Downing 20 July 1956 9 August 1960 4 years, 20 days
John Arthur Morony Comptroller-General Justice Minister Reg Downing 9 August 1960 14 July 1968 7 years, 340 days
Walter McGeechan Comptroller-General Attorney-General Ken McCaw 15 July 1968 18 January 1978 9 years, 187 days

Post-Nagle Royal Commission (1978–2009)Edit

The Government appointed academic Tony Vinson as the chairman of the new Corrective Services Commission. Vinson implemented many of the Royal Commission recommendations, but by 1981 found himself in conflict with the officers' union, the Public Service Association. The Government backed the union in the dispute, and Vinson retired to academia. The tenure of his replacement, Vern Dalton, was memorable for a corruption scandal that saw the Minister for Corrections, Rex Jackson, sentenced to 10 years' gaol for corruption.

Labor, tarnished by this and other scandals, was swept from office in 1988: the Liberal–Nationals coalition that replaced them campaigned on a 'tough on crime' platform. Dalton was moved to a different department and the Corrective Services Commission was abolished in favour of a single director-general on 9 August 1988. The first director-general was former police officer Angus Graham.

In October 1991 the department was restructured, with its juvenile justice responsibilities being transferred to a separate agency and Graham's title changed to Commissioner.[17]

List of commissioners and directors-general of the DepartmentEdit

Name Title Appointed by Term start Term end Term duration
Leslie Kenneth Downs Acting Commissioner Attorney-General Frank Walker 18 January 1978 19 June 1978 152 days
Leslie Kenneth Downs Associate Commissioner Attorney-General Frank Walker 19 June 1978 15 November 1978 149 days
Noel Stanley Day Commissioner Attorney-General Frank Walker 19 June 1978 19 March 1979 273 days
Dr Phillippe Anthony Vinson Chairman and Commissioner Corrections Minister Bill Haigh 19 March 1979 6 October 1981 2 years, 201 days
Noel Stanley Day Deputy Chairman and Commissioner Corrections Minister Bill Haigh 19 March 1979 19 March 1986 9 years, 143 days
Arnold Victor Bailey Commissioner Corrections Minister Bill Haigh 19 March 1979 19 March 1986 9 years, 143 days
Dr John Victor Temple Ellard Commissioner (part-time) Corrections Minister Bill Haigh 19 March 1979 19 March 1986 9 years, 143 days
Francis Daniel Hayes Commissioner (part-time) Corrections Minister Bill Haigh 19 March 1979 19 March 1986 9 years, 143 days
Vern Dalton Chairman and Commissioner Corrections Minister Rex Jackson 1981 22 August 1988
Stanley Miller Commissioner (part-time) Corrections Minister John Akister 19 March 1986 22 August 1988
Dr Glenice Kay Hancock Commissioner Corrections Minister John Akister 1 December 1986 22 August 1988
Dr Susan Carol Hayes Commissioner (part-time) Corrections Minister John Akister 1 December 1986 22 August 1988
David John Robert Grant Deputy Chairman and Commissioner Corrections Minister John Akister 27 January 1987 22 August 1988
Noel Stanley Day Acting Director-General Corrections Minister Michael Yabsley 22 August 1988 8 March 1989
Angus Graham Director-General Corrections Minister Michael Yabsley 8 March 1989 10 October 1991 2 years, 216 days
Angus Graham[17] Commissioner Justice Minister Terry Griffiths 10 October 1991
Neville Smethurst Commissioner 26 August 1996
Dr Leo Keliher Commissioner Attorney-General Jeff Shaw 26 August 1996 2002
Ron Woodham Commissioner Corrections Minister Richard Amery 2002 2009

Corrective Services New South Wales (2009–present)Edit

As part of a broader consolidation of government departments in 2009, the Department of Corrective Services was merged with the departments of the Attorney-General and Juvenile Justice in 2009. Corrective Services New South Wales became a division of what is now known as the Department of Justice, with Woodham retaining his role as Commissioner. Liberal Attorney-General Greg Smith replaced Woodham with Peter Severin, the head of South Australia's prison service, in 2012.

The NSW prison population has doubled in the last two decades, from 7810 inmates in 1998 to 13,722 in 2018[18]. Females account for 8% (1040) of the prisoner population in NSW and 24.7% (3300) of inmates are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. The annual expenditure on prisons in NSW in 2018 was $1.16 billion, and the average cost per prisoner per day is $188[19].

In terms of performance indicators, in 2018 Corrective Services NSW prisons were below average for Australian states and territories for recidivism (51% at two years), assaults (25 per 100 prisoners), deaths in custody (0.07/100 prisoners), participation in education and training (22%), time out of cells (8 hours/day) and prison capacity utilisation (129%).

In 2019, Corrective Services set a target to reduce adult prison inmate reoffending by 5 per cent by 2023[20]. The prisoner population of NSW is estimated to rise to by 550 inmates a year to 16,402 within five years[21]. In response to prisoner number growth, Corrective Services NSW launched a $3.8 billion program for building new prison capacity in 2016[22].

List of Corrective Services CommissionersEdit

Name Title Appointed by Term start Term end Term duration
Ron Woodham Commissioner Corrections Minister Richard Amery 2002 2012 10 years
Peter Severin Commissioner Attorney-General Greg Smith 2012 Incumbent

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ NSW Police Association members call on prisoner transport reform [1]
  2. ^ "Contact us". Corrective Services NSW. Archived from the original on 3 December 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  3. ^ a b New South Wales inmate census 2016 (PDF). Sydney: Corrective Services NSW. 2016. pp. 10–11.
  4. ^ "Chronology - A History of Australian Prison Reform". Four Corners. Australia: Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 7 November 2005. Archived from the original on 21 November 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
  5. ^ a b "History of NSW Corrections". Corrective Services NSW. 2008. Archived from the original on 7 January 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
  6. ^ Garton, Stephen (1986). "Neitenstein, Frederick William (1850–1921)". Australian Dictionary of Biography.
  7. ^ "Changes in the civil service: the new comptroller of prisons". The Daily Telegraph (Sydney). 22 June 1896.
  8. ^ "Captain Neitenstein". The Inverell Times. 17 September 1909.
  9. ^ "New comptroller-general of prisons". Sunday Times (Sydney). 6 March 1910.
  10. ^ "New comptroller of prisons: Mr McCauley appointed". Tamworth Daily Observer. 29 April 1914.
  11. ^ "Comptroller of prisons dead". The Riverine Grazier. 19 December 1919.
  12. ^ "Comptroller-General of prisons". The Maitland Daily Mercury. 8 February 1922.
  13. ^ "Mr MacDougall's further rise". Cootamundra Herald. 14 May 1925.
  14. ^ "Prisons chief: Mr George Steele comptroller". Northern Star (Lismore). 24 June 1925.
  15. ^ "New prison chief: Mr WF Hinchy succeeds Mr Steele". Evening News (Sydney). 3 January 1928.
  16. ^ "Prisons head to retire". The Sydney Morning Herald. 16 July 1947.
  17. ^ a b "Corrections shake-up: plan to cut 100 administrative jobs". The Canberra Times. 10 October 1991.
  18. ^ NSW Inmate and Community Offender Census [2]
  19. ^ Report on Government Services 2019 - Corrections [3]
  20. ^ Reducing Reoffending[4]
  21. ^ NSW Budget Estimates: Minister for Corrections [5]
  22. ^ NSW Budget 2016: $3.8 billion for new jail capacity to cover surge in prison population [6]

External linksEdit