Brendan Ray

No job guarantee for former Grafton jail officers

EXTRA beds will be added to cells around the NSW to cater for the state's growing prison population while Grafton jail is built.

A spokesman for Corrective Services NSW said spare buildings, the construction of modular cells and the reopening of Kirkconnell Correction Centre near Bathurst would be short-term measures to cope with the upsurge.

"Most of the work involved in these measures is done by Corrective Services industries utilising inmate labour, which provides CSNSW with the capacity to respond quickly and flexibly as needed," he said.

"The government has approved funding to create 1110 new beds this year using these measures."

READ RELATED: New Grafton prison a distraction, says Zangari

CSNSW would not confirm whether former Grafton jail employees would be given employment preference once the new centre has been built, but said "regional training will continue in the future as necessary".

Commissioner Peter Severin has announced permanent staff will again be recruited as correctional officers.

Until recently, only casual custodial officers were recruited.

"Within two years it is expected that 70% of new recruits will be permanent and 30% casual," the spokesman said.

"However, in the first instance when there is a permanent vacancy, it will be offered to existing casual staff (including those now completing their training) who have performed well.

"Implementation of the initiative will take two years to ensure that casual officers have every opportunity to gain permanent employment."

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