Dhurringile Prison will eventually be expanded to house 520 inmates, Victorian Acting Premier Peter Ryan declared during a visit to the site on Monday, January 6.JARROD WHITTAKER January 14, 2014 12:00pm
Victorian Acting Premier Peter Ryan and Victorian Corrections Minister Ed O’Donohue at Dhurringile Prison last week.
Mr Ryan visited the prison to inspect recently installed shipping container-style accommodation.
‘‘As of today, it provides 268 permanent beds for prisoners (and) a further 135 beds for temporary accommodation,’’ Mr Ryan said.
‘‘There are plans to add another 126 permanent beds.
‘‘So it will eventually have a bit over 520 prisoners accommodated on the site.’’
The 50 shipping container units were installed last month.
Each houses two prisoners.
He said future Dhurringile capacity included prisoners to be housed in the new accommodation.
Each shipping container is 6 m long, 2.45 m wide and 2.55 m high.
They are insulated with a thermal panel and include an airconditioner.
In recent months, the Napthine Government has moved to expand prison bed capacity following an increase in the number of prisoners being housed in police cells.
Mr Ryan said the number spiked to 370 in November, but had fallen to 175 by December 31.
‘‘We, of course, have a strong law and order policy we brought to government,’’ he said.
‘‘We recognise the implementation of that policy has in various respects meant that the prisoner population has grown.
‘‘For that we make absolutely no apology.’’
He said the government’s priority was to ensure public safety.
Victorian Corrections Minister Ed O’Donohue said the containers had cost $5 million.
‘‘This accommodation represents good value for money for the Victorian taxpayer,’’ he said.
He said 80 prisoners were housed in the shipping containers, which would be filled to capacity by the end of the week.
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