LODDON Prison is set to receive 120 more beds as part of a state government initiative to upgrade the state’s prison system.
Speaking from Loddon Prison yesterday, Corrections Minister Andrew McIntosh said the new beds were part of the government’s prison expansion program which would add an extra 395 beds to the prison system over the next two years.
“For more than two decades, Loddon Prison has played an important role in the local Castlemaine area, and we look forward to working with Mount Alexander Shire and the local community to deliver a new chapter in the prison’s history,” he said.
As well as increasing capacity, the Loddon Prison project would help prisoners with treatment programs, education, vocational training, and post-release issues, Mr McIntosh said.
“The new facility will provide important rehabilitation and reintegration services to prisoners as they come towards the end of their sentence, helping people to lead productive and crime-free lives when they return to the community,” he said.
The Loddon Prison upgrade would create up to 120 jobs during construction and 40 permanent jobs once complete, delivering economic opportunity to the Castlemaine community while also addressing capacity issues.
The project is expected to be completed towards the middle of 2014, subject to planning approvals.
Opened in 1990 as a replacement for the old Castlemaine Gaol, Loddon Prison accommodates medium-security prisoners serving short, medium and long-term sentences for a range of offences.
It also accommodates prisoners with disabilities or other complex needs.