Inmates at the Kirkconnell and Bathurst Correctional Centres have put in a helping-hand for drought-striken farmers, with each jail raising $6000 each.
Collectively, Corrective Services and Justice NSW staff have raised $70,000 and counting.
Bathurst Correctional Centre’s Kristy Donlan said the prison took the opportunity to support the farmers.
“As Bathurst is a regional town, nearly everyone is somehow related to the land,” she said.
“We had a local farmer who had to put down 1,200 sheep. Another family was showering at the local swimming pool, keeping all their water for their animals.
“Rather than feeling helpless, we took the opportunity to do something.”
Kirkconnell Correctional Centre has raised $6000 through barbecues, an inmate concert and staff social club donations.
Kirkconnell security manager Lennox Peter said the centre was hoping to reach $10,000 by Christmas.
“For a small centre, we’re very proud of the staff and inmates,” he said.
CSNSW acting commissioner Rosemary Caruana said fundraiser across the entire state has seen a mammoth and big-hearted effort by inmates and officers, as well as administrative and policy staff.
“This began as a grassroots campaign in some of our regional correctional centres and soon became a consolidated approach across the organisation with the goal of raising $25,000, which we have almost tripled,” she said.
“This is a cause our staff feel passionate about because many live in regional areas and some are farmers themselves. The combined effort is absolutely impressive.”
CSNSW employs more than 8,000 staff, including more than 5,000 custodial officers, services and programs staff and psychologists, and 500 overseers at 39 correctional centres across the state.
Almost 1,400 community corrections officers are employed in NSW.