Inmates to live in "Shipping Container" Cells

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

Shipping news: The South Australian Government plans to use refitted shipping containers to house 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.

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14 thoughts on “Inmates to live in "Shipping Container" Cells

  1. If school children can cope with having their class rooms in portable buildings then there shouldn’t be any problems with prisons utilising old shipping containers as jail cells.


    • Thats it Debra, had too good in jail for too long, its not a holiday home, or “live in educational facility” As a side note, it is one of the things I get really annoyed about is criminals getting free access to medical, health, food etc etc etc, but all these courses they do in there. You or me or our kids have to pay to do every little course going these days, and from what I am led to believe, some bums in jail(under the guise of rehab and education) are spending their days doing course after course, all books etc provided, access to computers…The list goes on. Us suckers, the taxpayers are forking out for this scam!


      • Ummmmmmmmmmmm!!
        What would you have them do Robbo???????
        Definition for rehabilitation:
        the restoration of someone to a useful place in society….


  2. They’re not old shipping containers as far as I can tell. They’re purpose built pods like the ones the miners live in. Fully insulated & airconned they are perfectly adequate. Some classes would love to have these instead of what they currently have to deal with. My only concern would be that they would have to be easier to smash your way out of if you really wanted to.


  3. I saw a show last year where they have used containers as low budget housing And if I had a nice block in the country that is exactly what I would use so what is there for anyone to complain about as it is obviously for low security prisoners not the maximum inmates all good I reckon shows for thought on the use of tax payers money


  4. Hi bigmouth, How about they work in there, build something for the community, put something back into the cost of their keep, instead of take take take. Whining about their rights. Don’t you think they give up a fair share of rights when they commit crimes? I am not saying do not allow those who can, to be rehabilitated. But when my own kids have to pay for uni, and TAFE etc etc well the very least they should do is have to work for theirs.
    Some study full time, get 3 meals and day, a roof, etc etc for what? Committing a crime? That is the punishment is it…

    I might have to sign up. Maybe I can run this blog from in there, get all the admin help I need while I go for a swim or a game of tennis (depending on what is on telly, maybe just relax) haha


    • Hi Robbo.
      Its a tangled web we weave.
      There is a minority ( maybe a big Minority ) that I say DON’T waste the money on!!
      Just look at Julian Knight & how he uses & abuses the system to his advantage.
      Yeah it does seem Jail seems to be the escape to go & relax & recharge the battery s?? Hahahahahaha…
      Hmmm!! Budget cuts I think should start with the prison system..
      I’m on a disability pension, I PAY BIG RENT & I don’t have QUARTER of what these Individuals get.. Wouldn’t even know how too operate XBOX OR AN IPOD, No joke. The whole stinking mess needs a complete overhaul..
      Maybe its back too the dark ages & receive the very very basics whilst in the system… I know where your coming from, & what your saying.. Its a big slap in the face too all, especially the VICTIMS OF CRIME.. But there a some that spend time in jail & do need & want to Rehabilitate. Some cant read or write!!! What happens when their released, there back weeks later because they know nothing better, & the big one is SOCIETY as a whole once they find out they have been in the system WONT & DON’T GIVE THEM chance!! That I know..
      The whole thing needs a complete rethink, because there is lots & lots of communities that need work done to them, prisoners, trusted that is, could do all this, all they need is supervision & training..
      Watched COOL HAND LUKE THE ANOTHER NIGHT, when I travel the train Or on the bus & I look around at land beside the train tracks & out & about its a bloody mess!! The country going too shit.. Devils Island for the Lifers & Monsters, & bread & water. I don’t know the whole thing just seems a joke!! The tax payers & pensioners doing the right thing, need to know the whole bloody truth, then debate & the vote on the whole thing.. Because the way its now, its all going to shit…


  5. I’m sorry but i believe prisoners should not have room to move or breathe, that picture looks like a holiday house. Sorry but the i believe prisoners should be in 3*3 cell with bed toilet and not have room to move around.


    • And then, when they’re actually insane from deprivation & isolation with nothing to do but obsess on revenge, we let them out (because they WILL get out eventually) and things go totally haywire. Yep – well thought out, that opinion…


  6. Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means am apologist for prisoners. The way I see it, it’s actually fairly difficult to actually be imprisoned in Australia unless you do something pretty horrific. Most prisoners are given chance after chance after chance, so most of them definitely deserve to be there. And yes, prison should be a place of punishment AS WELL AS rehabilitation. But toy have to be realistic – there are relatively few prisoners who will never be released and the rest MUST be given options that increase their chances of avoiding criminal habits and lifestyles when they get out. I also agree with Robbo, though, that any tertiary education they receive should be paid for by them – perhaps a scheme similar to HECS/HELP might be the go. Why should I have to pay for my degree AND theirs?


    • Yet another typo correction – sorry…

      “YOU have to be realistic”, not “toy”


    • education is becoming harder for them and it is a privilege. they don’t all get it for free this is a misconception. both my parents were teachers in the prison so I know this for a fact!


  7. Have I read right?? $430:000 they say they can save on a PER BLOODY prison cell.???
    Bloody hell what’s in them??
    Oh the big screen TV, blue ray, central heating, Xbox, private shower ( oh SPA ) ETC ETC ETC. What does bricks & Mortar & steel cost??
    No wonder the country is going backwards..
    Curious to know what the cost of fitting out a container will be???
    10 years & on a disability pension, due to accident & I cannot access yet Public Housing.
    Pay BIG RENT.
    Hmmmm!! Who says crime doesn’t pay???


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