Now here’s something I don’t mind paying for: more prisons

A bulging prisoner population is putting “significant pressure” on existing jails, prompting fast-tracked construction of new accommodation blocks across the country.

The Department of Corrections has put out to tender a contact to build three new 126-bed units at Rolleston and Tongariro prisons to cope with the populations increasing faster than expected.

Two of the “modular units” will be built at Rolleston, just out of Christchurch, and a third will be built at Tongariro, near Turangi.

The national prison population hit 10,000 in November 2016, dipping in December before blowing out to more than 10,200 in early 2017.

Corrections’ chief custodial officer Neil Beales said the rate of increase in the last two years had been “considerably higher” than forecast.

Bloody awesome.  And with crime out of control, it will go higher still.  

“Although additional beds have been added through the existing prison capacity programme, the increasing prisoner population continues to place significant pressure on prisoner accommodation.”

In May 2016, the Government announced $355.6 million in funding over the next four years to cope with rising prisoner numbers. In November the construction of a new 1500-bed facility at Waikeria Prison, in Waikato, was approved.

The capacity programme aimed to build 1800 prisoner places by 2021, but Beales said these spaces were needed now.

“In the medium term we need to ensure we have enough capacity, therefore we are adding three 120 bed modular units.”

No decision had been made about what the units will be constructed from.

“While Corrections has utilised containers in the past [at Rimutaka Prison in Upper Hutt] … technology has progressed and Corrections is keen to see what is available in the market,” Beales said.

“These units will accommodate low- to medium-security prisoners and the department will ensure these new builds are fit for purpose.”

Doesn’t matter.  Just lock them up.  We’ve had enough rapes, child molesting, dairy raids and “dropped” babies for a life time.


– Stuff

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.