It was good to read this morning that container prison cells are almost ready for use. The Herald reports:
The first shipping containers converted into cells will be ready to house prisoners from April and Corrections Minister Judith Collins says it is possible the pilot will be expanded as pressure comes on the prison muster.
Ms Collins today toured the first container crate prison wing at Rimutuka Prison in the Hutt Valley, saying it was coming in on time and on budget to hold 60 prisoners.
Each 12.2m long container has been converted into three insulated and heated cells with two bunks, a toilet, shelving and a small table, all constructed out of steel.
Once completed there will be two shower blocks and a guards office - also built out of containers - laid out on a concrete square with a verandah roof around the inside of the wing.
The National/Act government has stated an intention to get tough on crime, and new prison facilities will be needed. Judith Collins told media yesterday that the container option represented a 40% cost saving on "conventional" cells. That, to us represents an excellent balance between cost-effectiveness, and meeting basic human needs.
Doubtless there will be those who vocally oppose the very idea of housing prisoners in shipping containers. We strongly disagree with that viewpoint, and applaud the government for its innovative solution to the vexed issue of housing the growing prison muster.