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Thursday, May 19, 2011

A QUIRKY scheme to lock prisoners in recycled shipping containers has been so successful in New Zealand that it's set to be rolled out across several jails.

The new-look accommodation, to be trialled in South Australia, has "outperformed expectations" across the Tasman where it has been in use for a year.

Since the 60-bed block opened at Rimutaku Prison near Wellington there have been no incidents involving alcohol, drugs, mobile phones or weapons, and no violence against staff.

The block, entirely constructed from converted containers, has been touted as the cheapest and fastest way to build extra prison capacity as prisoner numbers reach all-time highs.

The South Australian Government announced earlier this month it would trial use of a six-unit block to see how effective it is.

If the New Zealand trial is anything to go by it could soon be in wide use in Australia.

New Zealand's corrections minister, Judith Collins, told parliament yesterday there had been significantly fewer incidents in the container unit when compared with other blocks.

Maintenance costs were 34 per cent lower than expected and vandalism was extremely low, she said.

A study is now underway to see which prisons will use them.

Shipping containers are already used as modular accommodation and storage systems for the defence and emergency services, while a 120-room Travelodge in Uxbridge, England, is constructed entirely of prefabricated shipping containers.


  1. would be fun watching them try and break out...shark infested waters

  2. Better off the funding go to this then a stupid issue like the boat people.


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