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Funding to boost number of prison beds

Hon Judith Collins
Minister of Corrections

28 May 2009

Funding to boost number of prison beds

Funding of $385.4 million over the next four years will ensure there are enough prison beds to cope with a rising prison population.

“The prison population is forecast to increase over the next 10 years,” Corrections Minister Judith Collins says.

“Under the previous Government, prisoners were driven around in vans because there weren’t enough beds. This Government will ensure the Department of Corrections has the money to plan and build the extra beds needed to keep pace with prisoner numbers.”

Some $24 million in capital funding has been allocated in 2008/09 and 2009/10 for the design and planning of extra prison capacity in the upper North Island.

To address the immediate need for prison accommodation, $218.6 million in operating funding over four years and $145.8 million capital funding in 2009/10 and 2010/11 has been allocated for increased double bunking at five prisons.

They include the Northland Region Corrections Facility, Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility, Spring Hill Corrections Facility, Otago Corrections Facility and the Mt Eden-Auckland Central Prison site.

Double bunking will add nearly 1000 beds at these prisons and the funding will mean double bunking can start next year. The cost per bed will be considerably less than building a new prison.

Ms Collins says a total of $24 million capital has been allocated over the years 2008/09-2010/11 to complete design and planning for further additional capacity in the upper North Island.

Budget 2009 also provides more operational funding for the department to employ more frontline prison staff and provide programmes and other critical services for the higher number of prisoners.

ENDS

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