Sunday, 23 March 2008

NT plans to hold prisoners in shipping containers

The Northern Territory's Justice Department has awarded a tender to install shipping containers at a Darwin jail to house the overflowing prison population.

The $500,000 tender to buy three shipping containers to be used for accommodation and an ablutions block has been awarded to a Darwin company to put the containers into Berrimah prison.

In February when the tender was advertised, a spokeswoman for the Department said they would have windows and comfortable furnishings and would only be used as a short-term solution.

At the same time, the NT Government has received a master plan it commissioned, which sets out options for the long-term future of the Territory's prisons.

Both Alice Springs jail in central Australia and Berrimah jail in Darwin are full.

Some of the options listed in the past include building a third prison in Alice Springs or Darwin or in a regional centre like Tennant Creek or Katherine, or adding on to the existing prisons.

The NT Government says the master plan is being discussed by Cabinet and it is unlikely to be made public before May.

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