This is a great idea, but I do not understand why normal cells cost so damn much, do they build them with gold bars, fair dinkum, up to half a million dollars a cell?
Shipping containers for prison inmates
THE South Australian Government’s plan to house prisoners in shipping containers has been ridiculed by opponents.
The containers are a new cost-saving initiative by Corrections Minister Tom Koutsantonis.
Labelling the 12m containers the “future of Australia’s prisons“, Mr Koutsantonis announced the Government would save up to $430,000 per cell by using the refitted containers.
“I think civil libertarians will be up in arms over the fact that we are using shipping containers,” he said.
“I understand this is controversial, I understand this is different but I think we have to make sure that we can house our prisoners safely, securely and cheaply.”
Mr Koutsantonis denied the cells were not fit to house prisoners, preferring to call them “spartan, but of course humane”.Related Coverage
“If it is good enough for miners earning over $200,000 (annually), it is damn well good enough for prisoners,” he said.
Civil libertarian George Mancini said the containers were a short-term solution that needed more thought.
“I would have thought the future of prisons involves the rehabilitation of prisoners,” he said.
“There needs to be a focus on rehabilitation and reasonable conditions, not just cheap housing but effective housing.” Really? That’s what normal law-abiding citizens deserve and some cannot access, first and foremost prisons are for punishment…
Mr Koutsantonis said the cells, which cost between $70,000 and $80,000 per cell compared to almost half a million for a traditionally built cell, would not compromise on safety.
The cells could also be built-in six months – compared with two years for a traditional build.
“The cells are maximum security and could hold any prisoner in the world,” he said.
Opposition corrections spokesman Terry Stephens said the Government had nine years to implement cost-cutting ideas in the prison system but had failed to do so.
“They are trying to spin this off as a cost-effective project,” he said. “It is nonsense.”
Prisoners from Cadell, in the Riverland, will be the first to be locked inside the new cells during a trial which is expected to begin next week.
If successful, the containers will be used to house prisoners across the entire prison network.