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Cessnock Correctional Complex is a minimum and maximum security institution for males. It is situated in the Hunter Valley, 151km north-west of Sydney and 48km west of Newcastle. Cessnock is the reception prison for the Newcastle/Hunter region.


Lindsay St
Cessnock NSW 2325

Phone: (02) 4993 2333


Postal Address:

PO Box 32
Cessnock NSW 2325

How to Get There

Public Transport

From the station an hourly bus service operates to Cessnock shopping centre with a journey time of 45 minutes. Bus services also operate from Sydney and Newcastle.

From the shopping centre it is a half hour walk or five minute taxi ride to the Centre.

For further details and timetables, please visit City Rail Information

Private Transport

From Sydney take the Cessnock turnoff on the F3 freeway and follow the signs to Cessnock. Turn right at the first set of lights into Vincent St and follow it to the end. Turn left at the lights into Wollombi Rd. Proceed through the small roundabout and take the next right into Mount View Rd (following the sign marked "Correctional Centre"). Take the third right into Nelson St and turn right into Lindsay St. Follow Lindsay St to the Complex.

From the New England Highway, travelling south from Singleton, turn off at Branxton and follow the signs to Cessnock. Stay on Allandale road until it ends and turn right onto Wollombi Rd. From there the directions are the same as for the route from Sydney.

From Maitland turn left at the roundabout near Maitland station on the New England Highway. Follow the signs to Cessnock through Kurri Kurri, Weston, Abermain and Neath continuing on the same road through to Cessnock. Pass through two sets of traffic lights and you are on Wollombi Rd. Follow the same directions as for the route from Sydney.

Visitor Information


No bookings are required for visits to minimum-security inmates.

Maximum security inmates - bookings are required when visiting maximum security inmates. Visits must be pre booked and bookings can be made between 9am – 12pm and 1pm – 3pm Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Phone the visit bookings line on (02) 4993 2285.

Visit times:

Minimum security inmates

Saturday and Sundays 8:30am – 3.00pm (no booking required).

Maximum security inmates

Saturday and Sundays (1 hour visits) commencing at 8.45am - last visit is at 2.--pm (booked).


Minimum Security Inmates

  • When visiting minimum security inmates you can take standard items necessary for infant and child care. Up to $30 in coins are permitted to be taken in for purchases from the visits area canteen.

Maximum Security Inmates

  • No items are permitted to be taken into the Centre when visiting maximum security inmates. Up to $20 in coin (NO CASH) per inmate can be taken to purchase items from the vending machines to be consumed on your visit.

Legal Visits

Legal practitioners may visit 7 days between 9am-3pm. Notification of intention to visit must be made by faxing a letter of appointment to (02) 4991 2253 twenty four hours before visiting.


Cessnock is a large industrial complex employing inmates in a wide variety of jobs that include:

  • Engineering (mostly light fabrication);
  • Furniture manufacture (upholstery and timber products);
  • Demountable refurbishment for the Department of Education;
  • A Food Services facility where lunches are prepared for nearby correctional centres, Tomago Periodic Detention Centre and the court cells serving the Cessnock region;
  • Centre maintenance where inmates are involved in maintaining the grounds and buildings;
  • Laundry logistics, motor workshop, staff canteen and a number of hygiene programs.
  • Cessnock also has a community projects / Mobile Outreach Program in which selected inmates can participate.

In all business and service units inmates are encouraged to participate in a wide variety of vocational programs as part of the Work Readiness process.


Accredited course, with nationally recognised qualifications, are made available to inmates at each correctional centre.

The Adult Education and Vocational Training Institute (AEVTI) provides literacy, numeracy and communications courses in all centres. Many centres also offer vocational courses such as Information Technology, Horticulture, Construction, Visual Arts and Contemporary Craft.

AEVTI contracts TAFE NSW and other providers to deliver courses in a range of vocational areas such as Hospitality, Business Skills, Building, Cleaning, Transport, Aboriginal Studies, Horticulture and various WorkCover licenses.

AEVTI also co-ordinates traineeships and offers support for distance education.

Each centre has a library giving inmates access to a range of fiction, non-fiction and reference books. Inmates can also login to a secure internal network called the Inmate Legal Portal which gives them access to material of a legal nature.

For more information regarding these programs visit the AEVTI WebPage.

Other courses

  • Senior First Aid
  • Forklift Certificate (limited availability)
  • Crane Certificate (limited availability)
  • Dogman Certificate (limited availability)
  • RTA Drivers Licence Knowledge Test
  • Engaging Fathers (Aboriginal parenting program)

The Centre offers a traineeship in General Construction which is conducted over twelve months in the Demountables refurbishment workshops. It is available for up to ten minimum security inmates who are required to meet the selection criteria.

The traineeship is delivered by flexible workplace delivery, which means that trainees receive their training on the job five days a week. Trainees perform tasks in the workplace as directed by their overseers, and are assessed for competency by a TAFE teacher who visits fortnightly. Some modules are delivered by qualified Corrective Services teachers. Trainees achieve a Certificate II in General Construction from TAFE and a traineeship qualification from the Department of Education and Training. On completion trainees can move into a variety of trades, all of which have General Construction at their core.

Drug and Alcohol Programs

Programs offerred to inmates with drug and/or alcohol related problems to address their offending behaviour include:

  • Hiv/HepC
  • Harminimisation
  • Alcohol Awareness
  • Anger Management
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Toastmasters
  • Enough is Enough
  • Reach Out and Relate
  • Communication
  • HOPE – Heroin Overdose prevention education including CPR
  • Gambling Awareness
  • Quit Smoking
  • Drink Drive
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Narcotics Anonymous
  • Gamblers Anonymous
  • Breakout – How we think and how we function with addictions

Special Programs

The Phoenix Program at the Centre is an AOD Program for inmates who are have at least 5 months of their sentence remaining and who are usually within the last 2 years of the sentence. They need to be of low security classification and have no further court cases.

The program needs to be completed in either 13 or 26 weeks (depending on time left to serve). They must also be employed or be a full-time student. Inmates need to have had a problem with alcohol, drugs or gambling and wish to address it.

The program has 4 core components:

  • Life skills 1 - Relapse Prevention
  • Life skills 2 - Building Better Relationships
  • Life skills 3 - Breaking Barriers to Change
  • Life skills 4 - Anger Management

Non-core components:

  • Communications and Interpersonal
  • Yoga / Stress Management
  • Choosing Non-violence
  • Fathering Course
  • Inmate Peer Group
  • Alcoholics Anonymous / Narcotics Anonymous / Gamblers Anonymous
  • Know Your Mind

Community Involvement

The Centre operates a mobile outreach program which operates as a self sufficient camp enabling minimum security inmates to undertake community projects within a 500 km radius of the Centre.