Education among inmates will also be reviewed to improve the literacy, numeracy and employment skills of prisoners.
The reforms are part of the NSW Government’s aim to reduce adult reoffending by 5 per cent by 2019.
Performance targets will be established and tested in areas such as out of cell hours, participation in rehabilitation activities and security. This information will provide insight into how a better prison system can be achieved and how much it costs to run a successful prison in NSW.
Minister for Corrections David Elliott said the reforms will create an opportunity for NSW prisons to improve their performance.
“This reform will help deliver a prison system that accommodates more inmates, operates more efficiently, and has a greater focus on rehabilitation, without compromising safety and security,” Mr Elliott said.
In addition to the new prison at Grafton and expanding Parklea, more than 1,100 extra beds will support this reform, including 620 beds at Cessnock and 160 at South Coast, with the option of reopening Parramatta Gaol.