Inmates being temporarily relocated from a Western NSW prison because of the effects of the mouse plague will not initially be sent to correctional centres in the Hunter, but some may eventually be brought to the region.
Corrective Services NSW said on Tuesday that as many as 200 staff members and 420 inmates at Wellington Correctional Centre would be moved to other jails by the end of this month because of the impacts of the vermin.
The scaling back of operations will allow for cleaning and remediation work to take place, after mice damaged internal wiring and ceiling panels at the jail.
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Most staff will be redeployed to prisons in Western NSW, while many of the inmates will be sent to Macquarie Correctional Centre - a nearby maximum security prison - and other locations.
The Newcastle Herald understands that no inmates will initially be sent to the Hunter's correctional facilities at Cessnock and Muswellbrook, but some may end up being taken there during the estimated three-to-four-months of work at Wellington.
"The health, safety and well-being of staff and inmates is our number one priority so it's important for us to act now to carry out the vital remediation work," Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin said.
"The staff at Wellington have done an incredibly good job in managing the effects of the mice plague, but we need to take this step now to ensure the site is thoroughly cleaned and infrastructure is repaired."
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