South Coast Correctional Centre targeted in state-wide contraband crackdown

One of the prison-made weapons found during the state-wide crackdown on contraband in the state’s jails.
One of the prison-made weapons found during the state-wide crackdown on contraband in the state’s jails.

A prison-made weapon, a syringe and drugs were found at the South Nowra Jail as part of a statewide sweep of NSW prisons for contraband.

The South Coast Correctional Centre was part of Operation Purge, the largest contraband raids of the state prison system.

Across the state the operation netted 11 mobile phones, steroids, crystal meth, more than 600 grams of tobacco, 30 syringes and needles and 44 prison-made weapons.

Searches at the South Nowra complex, which houses minimum and maximum security male offenders found one prison-made weapon, a syringe, three strips of buprenorphine strips, an opioid used to treat opioid addiction, moderate acute pain and moderate chronic pain and 29 avanza tablets, a medication to correct chemical changes in the body associated with depressive illness.

Operation Purge involved correctional officers undertaking targeted searches at each of the state’s 36 prisons across an 11-week period

More than 1300 custodial officers and 90 Security Operations Group officers took part in the intelligence-based raids.

Minister for Corrections David Elliott praised the officers saying they had done a fantastic job executing the raids, in conjunction with each facility’s regular contraband searches.

“The unprecedented operation has produced great results, with searches of 8377 inmates, 5079 cells, and 576 common areas,” Mr Elliott said

A total of 105 inmates are now facing charges of possessing contraband.

Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW) Commissioner Peter Severin said the prison system was now safer, but officers remained vigilant.

“Contraband is an issue for correctional centres across the globe, but I am confident that by using the skills of custodial officers combined with local intelligence and modern technology we can continue to disrupt this criminal activity,” Commissioner Severin said.

Operation Purge started on August 21 and seized:  

  • 11 mobile phones
  • 647.7g of tobacco  
  • 44 prison-made weapons
  • 60 steroid tablets  
  • 5.3g of green vegetable matter  
  • 3.4g of crystal meth
  • 21 buprenorphine strips  
  • 10 litres of prison-made brew
  • 30 syringes/needles  
  • 8 phone chargers
  • 6 USB sticks.