The expansion of Sydney’s notorious Silverwater prison will hold up to 1530 inmates and provide an extra 200 jobs.

As part of the NSW Government’s $3.8 billion prison infrastructure plan, the Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre (MRRC) has recently undergone Australia’s largest remand centre expansion.

New facilities include purpose-built rooms for therapeutic programs to ensure inmates have support and access to addiction and behaviour-change services.

The accommodation expansion will include four new 100-bed blocks to help minimise inmate transfers to regional NSW areas, and will also allow the inmates to stay in Sydney and maintain close contact with their families and loved ones.

Additional recreation areas, a health care centre and new program rooms were also included alongside upgrades to existing facilities.

The expansion will also incorporate artificial intelligence, to keep an extra eye on prisoners at the facility in Western Sydney -eventually the technology will be so good it can even tell when a prisoner’s breathing becomes erratic, so prison officers can step in.

Corrective Services NSW commissioner Peter Severin said the expansion to Silverwater prison will help inmates get their lives back on track sooner.

“It’s a priority for corrective services to reduce reoffending and this expansion forms part of our commitment to creating a more efficient, rehabilitation-focused system,” he said.

The Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre is a maximum-security correctional facility for male offenders.

Inmates who arrive at the MRRC:

  • Come directly from court on remand
  • Are staying at the MRRC while they attend court in the Sydney metropolitan area (before returning to their home centre)
  • Are staying at the MRRC while they wait for a vacancy at a centre that matches their classification.

Most inmates at the MRRC leave the centre within a few months of their arrival. Usually this occurs because they obtain bail (and release) or because they transfer to a centre that matches their classification.