From NRL superstar to inmate – Jarryd Hayne’s new life in prison

Handcuffed and placed into a steel compartment inside a white prison van and taken to Parklea Prison in western Sydney, disgraced football superstar Jarryd Hayne has begun his life as a jail inmate.

The celebrated Parramatta Eels fullback, dual Dally M medallist and NFL San Francisco 49er, who has been convicted of sexual assault, now has a prison number and a set of new green trackies.

Sentenced to three years and eight months in prison for the sexual assault of a young woman in 2018 – and a maximum of five years and nine months – a new chapter in the 33-year-old’s life stretches before him.

He has at least 1309 days of being locked up in his cell for the night at around 3pm after just six hours of daylight knocking around a yard with other prisoners.

That’s if high-profile Hayne ever gets out of his caged protection yard and into the main prison population.

The chaotic scenes which erupted outside Newcastle courthouse on Thursday afternoon have only served to make him even bigger news to the crims waiting for his arrival.

The spectacle will have at least ramped up the possibility of a rousing welcome for Hayne once he reaches his jail of sentence.

As it was unfolding, Hayne was taken down to the cells below Newcastle court to wait for his prison transport.

He was taken to Parklea prison in western Sydney for his prison induction.

Taken to a holding cell with other handcuffed inmates, Hayne would then have been placed in a booth and ordered to undress.

A naked Hayne was stripsearched by a latex-gloved officer, and instructed to hand over his clothes … the white shirt, charcoal suit, dark patterned tie and the shoes he wore to court.

In exchange, a prison officer handed Hayne dark green track pants and sweatshirt, matching shorts and underpants and white sandshoes with velcro fastenings.

Dressed in his new prison greens, he posed by a height marker for his prison mug shot.

Then he was sat down for an interview with a jail officer and a Justice Health nurse about his mental wellbeing, and whether he was fearful of any particular inmates.

Marched up to an inception pod and then into a cell, Hayne would have been locked in on his own with a bed and mattress, a steel toilet bowl with no toilet seat and a tiny shower.

If he was lucky, a TV bolted behind perspex to the wall could have brought him coverage of his exit from the outside world and his mates’ contemptuous performance for the cameras.

Hayne’s high profile status means he will be kept in protection, and perhaps in a safe cell – with no removable pieces to metal – for some time.

The level of his co-operation with prison officers and compliance will predict whether he will ever be put on segregation.

Breakfast will be in his cell – a pack of cereal, slices of white bread, jam and sugar.

Lunch, also in his cell, will be more bread in the form of sandwiches, plus a piece of fruit, and for dinner he will be served a perfectly nutritious meal, possibly chicken or pasta in a tin foil tray.

He will be able to use a gym once he is assigned his prison of sentence.

Lifers and long sentence prisoners – inmates who have killed someone – can expect to be sent to correctional facilities with large maximum security prisons like Goulburn, Parklea and Lithgow.

High profile inmates or offenders with risk-associated backgrounds – police, priests or paedophiles – are sometimes sent to Cooma Correctional Centre, in the Snowy Mountains foothills.

The prison, where temperatures will drop to freezing during the coming winter, houses both minimum and medium security inmates.

With a head sentence of nearly six years, Hayne will probably be classified as a medium security inmate.

If Corrective Services NSW classification committee deems him such, Hayne’s prison home could be in Grafton, Junee, Kempsey, Nowra, or Tamworth.

Wherever he is housed, like all prison inmates, Hayne will be subject to cell searches when prison officers conduct regular sweeps for contraband such as drugs and mobile phones.

His high profile makes him more susceptible to violent attacks.

His pregnant wife, his mother and other family members and friends could apply to visit him once a week.

Jarryd Hayne’s minimum sentence is due to expire in December 2024.

Less than 24 hours after his sentencing, on Friday morning, Hayne launched an appeal against his conviction.

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