With NSW prisons bursting at the seams, the state government will "rapid-build" a 400-inmate high-security jail at the Wellington Correctional Centre, with the facility to open later this year.

The rapid nature of construction will shave off about two years of work that more traditional prison builds entail, according to Minister for Corrections David Elliott on Monday.

The state’s prison population hit a record high of nearly 13,000 inmates as of December – up 16 per cent over the past two years.

A second rapid-build facility is under construction at Cessnock with planning underway for two more facilities, the government said, but the sites have not yet been confirmed.

Corrective Services NSW says it is recruiting more than 1400 new prison guards and about 100 community corrections officers to support the $3.8 billion infrastructure program as the NSW government grapples with a record prison population.