Jarryd Hayne to Serve His Time at Cooma Correctional Centre

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Cooma Prison

Jarryd Hayne has been moved to a new prison facility in New South Wales.

There are a number of reasons why an inmate may be moved from one facility to another in our state.

COVID Quarantine

In Hayne’s case, the former football star spent 14 days in quarantine, which became a standard procedure for all new inmates at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

All new inmates are now tested for the virus upon arrival and, irrespective of their test results, spend 14 days isolated from the prison population.

Mr Hayne was at Parklea Correctional Centre where he underwent the process of ‘induction’ into prison life, as well as ‘classification’ to determine where he would spend his time for sexual assault offences.

Hayne has now been moved to Cooma Correctional Centre in southern New South Wales, where he will serve his time unless his appeal is successful or a decision is made that he be transferred elsewhere.

Cooma Correctional Centre

Cooma Correctional Centre is described as a minimum and medium-security facility, and it has in the past counted high-profile businessmen, politicians and police officers among its inmates.

It is where disgraced Sydney businessmen, Salim Mehajer served a sentence for electoral fraud at and Oliver Curtis, the inside trader husband of Roxy Jacenko, did a year behind bars.

Despite what the media says about the facility, there isn’t any special treatment for inmates.

It’s already been reported that Mr Hayne has requested to have Foxtel installed on the television in his cell, only to have the request denied, because inmates are only permitted to have access to free-to-air television services.

He was also refused a request to have his personal laundry done on days that the prison laundry service does not operate.

Like all prison inmates, Hayne will be subject to cell searches when prison officers conduct sweeps for contraband, such as drugs and mobile phones.

Visiting a prisoner in New South Wales

Mr Hayne’s wife, friends and family will be able to visit him weekly.

Like other correctional centres around New South Wales, visiting restrictions imposed due to COVID were lifted last month, but visitors must still undergo screening of their bodies and belongings, in addition to temperature testing before entering to avoid an outbreak of COVID-19.

Anyone with a temperature of 37.5 degrees or above is turned back from the facility, as are those exhibiting cold or flu-like symptom.

COVID vaccinations are currently being rolled out to eligible staff and inmates.

Corrections NSW is encouraging visits by video link, rather than in person, and all in-person visits must be booked in advance.

Appeal in progress

The disgraced former NRL star was imprisoned for a full term of five years and nine months in May 2021 after being found guilty of two counts of sexual assault.

He will be eligible for release at the expiry of his minimum term, on 5 January 2025.

During Hayne’s sentencing in Newcastle District Court, judge Helen Syme made clear that a prison term was inevitable Mr Hayne because non-consensual sexual intercourse is an extreme form of violence and there is a strong need for both general deterrence (to deter others in the community from engaging in such conduct) and specific deterrence (to deter the offender).

Denial and appeal

Mr Hayne continues to stenuously deny any wrongdoing, emphatically maintaining that the sexual encounter with the young woman in Newcastle was consensual.

After being found guilty, he said he would “rather go to gaol knowing I spoke the truth than be a free man living a lie”.

His criminal defence lawyers have already lodged an appeal to the New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal.

Not the first allegation

It was previously alleged that Mr Hayne committed battery and rape against a woman during an alleged encounter in California in 2015, while he was playing American Football for the San Franciso 49ers.

Police determined there was insufficient evidence to support that claim and did not proceed with criminal charges.

Mr Hayne settled a civil suit with the woman in 2019 for an undisclosed sum of money.

The former star’s football future looks bleak, with reports surfacing this week that the NRL is considering stripping him of his Dally M Medal awards in 2009 and 2014 for being the best player in the game.

The NRL says it will make its final decision after Hayne’s appeal is finalised.

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Sonia Hickey

Sonia Hickey is a freelance writer, magazine journalist, and owner of 'Woman with Words'. She has a strong interest in social justice and is a member of the Sydney Criminal Lawyers® content team. Sonia is the winner of the Mondaq Thought Leadership Awards, Spring 2022.

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