Construction of the Cooma Correctional Centre commenced in 1870 from local granite which was quarried from the hill where the Centre now stands.
The Centre commenced operations on 1 November 1873 with 31 cells. In 1876 it was reduced to a Police Gaol and then a temporary Lunatic Asylum in 1877. The Centre closed temporarily in the early 1900s.
The Gaol reopened on 8 March 1957 and was again closed 10 July 1998.
Cooma Correctional Centre reopened for the second time in November 2001.
The Centre is a minimum and medium security institution located only one hour's drive south of Canberra, 410 km from Sydney and 652 km from Melbourne.
The Centre has accommodation for 160 inmates and a total of 53 staff, consisting of 31 custodial officers, 9 overseers and 13 support staff.
1 Vale Street Cooma NSW 2630
Postal Address Locked Mailbag 7 Cooma NSW 2630
Phone: (02) 6455 0333 Fax: (02) 6452 2491
By Rail - CountryLink provides a daily service from Sydney to Canberra with a connecting bus service to Cooma. From Melbourne, there are frequent bus and daily train services to Albury, for connection to Greyhound Pioneer. Countrylink Information
By Bus - CountryLink provides a daily service from Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. Greyhound Pioneer operates frequent coach services from Sydney and Melbourne to Canberra.
Bookings and schedules are available from Greyhound and Countrylink.
From Sydney - Cooma is located approximately 410 km from Sydney. Travel south via the Hume Highway, which takes you through Canberra.
From Melbourne - Cooma is located approximately 652 km north of Melbourne. Take Highway One through Gippsland, turning in at Cann River to the Monaro Highway and Bombala and then on to Cooma, or continue on to Merimbula and Bega and take the Snowy Mountains Highway up Brown Mountain to Nimmitabel and onto Cooma. However, this route will take approximately two hours longer.
From Canberra - Cooma is located approximately 114 km from Canberra. Travel south via the Monaro Highway.
Booking times are now:
Before travelling for a visit, please call the correctional centre to confirm visit and visiting time.
Saturdays and Sundays only:
Contact the correctional centre for further details
Legal practitioners may visit From Monday to Friday between 9am - 3pm. Notification of intention to visit must be made by telephoning the Centre on (02) 6455 0333 or in writing to the General Manager.
Industries employing inmates include domestic service, laundry and food services within the Centre, and Textiles (manufacturing clothing) which currently employs up to 45 inmates, maintenance trade position, Corcraft and special projects.
The Museum is open Tuesday to Friday, 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm and Saturday, 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.
Corrective Services' Museum is a living Museum, as it employs select inmates in a variety of areas such as tour guides, sales assistants, collection management and craft manufacturing. For further information, telephone 6452 5974.
A range of educational, vocational and therapeutic programs are facilitated by professional staff, including Welfare Officer, Senior Correctional Education Officer and Psychologist. External service providers also facilitate various educational and vocational programs. Inmates' sentences are managed in accordance with the Corrective Services' Case Management Policies and Procedures.
Inmates paint buildings, maintain gardens, river/creek banks, showgrounds, ovals, town and village road entrances, undertake minor maintenance works in and around Cooma and its surrounding villages and provides assistance to local community groups, schools and centres.
Inmates also participate in the yearly Clean Up Australia Day Campaign as well as providing much needed assistance to groups and individuals to undertake bush fire hazard reduction works.