THE prisoner release program remains suspended after an emergency meeting with council and the Department of Corrective Services last week.
Cooma-Monaro Shire Council staff and Corrective Services met to discuss the program in light of the recent alleged escape of convicted murderer Adam Bowhay, from the council/jail works program.
Monaro locals were alarmed to learn of an escaped murderer on the loose and safety concerns were raised about the security of the prisoner programs.
The alleged escapee was serving a 23-year-sentence for the brutal murder of a man in northern NSW town of Casino and was on a community works program at Snowy Oval when he allegedly 'disappeared'.
He was recaptured on the Billilingara Road, south of Bredbo after almost three days on the run.
CSNSW staff and Cooma-Monaro Shire general manager John Vucic and engineering services director and staff met last Tuesday to discuss the future of the prisoner program (Community Maintenance Team program) Corrective Services representative Phillip Patricks gave a brief summary of the alleged escape of the inmate.
The Community Maintenance Team program will continue to be suspended until the issue is discussed by council's community consultative committee.
Answering questions put by the Express, a Corrective Services spokesperson said there are about 130 prisoners at the Cooma Correctional Facility which is classified as a medium security prison. Inmates housed at Cooma have been convicted of various offences.
There are no other convicted murderers, rapists or paedaphiles on work release in Cooma.
Corrective Services said this was the first time an inmate on the Cooma Community work program had allegedly absconded in its 12 year history.