Tuesday, 10 March 2015

NSW Nationals MP for Clarence Chris Gulaptis still trying to excuse his collusion in closing Grafton Gaol

This was NSW Nationals MP for Clarence Chris Gulaptis (left) on the subject of the 2012 closure of Grafton Gaol in The Daily Examiner on 6 March 2015: It was downsized in a time when inmate numbers were in decline. Inmate numbers now are skyrocketing. As soon as inmate numbers reach a threshold, the Grafton Jail will be re-opened.

It would be interesting to know what this threshold number is, because NSW prisoner numbers commenced to climb in late September 2012, reached “a record high” by March 2014 and are expected to rise by another 17 per cent by the end of March this year [NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Issue paper no. 95 April 2014].

By 16 May last year The Sydney Morning Herald was reporting that; BOCSAR director Don Weatherburn said the rapid rise was ''a matter of significant concern'' not only because each prisoner costs $119 a day but because the prison population was rising faster than the government could build capacity, creating the risk of prison unrest. More than 100 prisoners at Parklea signed a petition in March after management started placing three men in two-man cells, leading to increased tension and violence.
I rather suspect there is no inmate number threshold which would see the Baird Government re-open Grafton Goal in the foreseeable future – it will remain the much smaller remand centre it became on Chris Gulaptis’ watch.

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