A new accommodation unit, reception building and prison industries building has opened at Port Augusta Prison.

A new accommodation unit, reception building and prison industries building has opened at Port Augusta Prison.

The $55 million expansion was officially opened by Minister for Correctional Services, Chris Picton recently.

The expansion features an 128 bed accommodation unit, a 2000sqm prison industries complex and a new reception building. Held in the new prison industries complex, official proceedings got underway with a welcome by Port Augusta Prison General Manager, Brenton Williams, followed by a Welcome to Country by Mr Lindsay Thomas.

Guests then enjoyed a special performance by the Dusty Feet Mob – a group of Aboriginal young people and children aged between 6 -29 years, who have been dancing together since 2014.

Chief Executive David Brown then thanked  everyone involved in the project including staff at Port Augusta Prison before speaking on how the additional infrastructure will enable a wider range of program and training opportunities to be delivered. He then introduced the Minister for Correctional Services, Chris Picton to speak.

The official opening was Minister Picton's first visit to the prison since becoming Correctional Services Minister.  He spoke on the impact the project has had for jobs in the local community, 10 by 20 and how each of the new pieces of infrastructure will have an impact on reducing reoffending.  The Minister then officially opened  the new facilities and unveiled an official plaque.

At the conclusion of official proceedings all guests were invited on a tour of the new Saltbush unit. The unit has been designed as open campus prison accommodation and supports independent living.

It includes spaces for support services such as program rooms, medical treatment / clinic rooms and four multi-purpose rooms with video conferencing capabilities.

There is also an undercover activities area and green space for general outdoor activities. Saltbush Unit places a strong emphasis on case management ensuring prisoners are provided with opportunities to address their offending behaviours and develop skills that will assist them to lead a law-abiding lifestyle upon release.

Prisoners accommodated in Saltbush are required to participate in employment, structured activities, education and programs within the residential environment. The new 2000sqm prison industries building comprises a number of designated spaces for prisoners to engage in meaningful employment and vocational learning opportunities.

A key element of the Reducing Reoffending 10% by 2020 strategy is Work Ready, Release Ready – training up prisoners on the inside so they can gain meaningful employment on the outside.

The existing prison industry area will continue to operate and by January 2018, around 375 prisoners will be participating in prison industry work and training through DCS's partnership with TAFE.

The new reception building provides a warm welcoming area for family and friends with access control technology which provides mechanisms for the site to reduce the introduction of contraband and monitor entry and egress through a biometric enrolment system.

Contact: DCS media

Phone: 8226 9107

Email: dcsmediaunit@sa.gov.au