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$5.6 million upgrade for Hawkes Bay prison

Hon Anne Tolley
Minister of Corrections

12 February 2014

$5.6 million upgrade for Hawkes Bay prison

Corrections Minister Anne Tolley says work is under way on a $5.6 million upgrade at Hawkes Bay prison, which will significantly improve security and safety.

A new Audio Visual Link (AVL) building will allow prisoners to make ‘virtual’ court appearances without the security risk or expense of having to transport offenders outside the wire.

There will also be a new receiving office with better facilities for detecting contraband and managing prisoners, and a new ‘separates’ facility, where disruptive young offenders can be specially managed without having to be moved into the adult part of the prison.

Upgrades to security and rehabilitation facilities at five other prisons, costing a total of $81.3 million, have already been announced.

“We are ensuring that our prisons are fit for purpose,” says Mrs Tolley.

“The Government is doing more than ever before to rehabilitate prisoners, and this needs to be done in safe and secure facilities.

“These upgrades will provide better working conditions for staff in a safer environment, which will allow officers to focus on reducing reoffending.

“We are also taking advantage of new technology, and AVL links will mean less disruption in prisons, while removing any safety risk to the public as offenders won’t have to be transported to and from court.

“I’ve asked Corrections to look at how the new AVL links at Hawkes Bay can be used to support prisoners from the Gisborne area to maintain contact with their families who may be unable to travel regularly from the East Coast, as we know this is important for reducing reoffending.

“The AVL technology can also be used to link prisoners with their probation officers, which can better prepare offenders before their release back into the community.”

Upgrade work at Hawkes Bay prison is set to be completed by July 2014.

ENDS

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