SHANE Rattenbury has announced plans for a $54 million expansion of the Alexander Maconochie Centre to lift capacity by 110 places.
“This expansion is designed to meet the medium projections outlined in the detainee number forecast report prepared by respected criminal justice analyst John Walker, and so lays out the challenge for Government to slow the rate of increase in the prison population through other programs,” Shane said.
“The expansion will have a flexible design with capacity for an extra 110 beds across two new buildings, and will be able to cope with surges in detainee numbers with the capacity to increase up to 142 beds.
“We have seen an unprecedented jump in detainee numbers since January 2013 which has placed significant pressure upon ACT Corrective Services. We also have a very high rate of detainee separation as many of our detainees know each other in the community and have problems with association, which makes it difficult for them to be co-located inside the AMC,” he said.
The Liberals’ Andrew Wall is generally critical of the management of the prison over the last decade.
“The construction of the AMC was rushed and it was opened far too early purely for political gain during the 2008 ACT Election. The government is now spending $54 million dollars to take the jail to a capacity which was recommended more than a decade before it was built,” Andrew said.
“Furthermore, this announcement has come while tender funding for the expansion is still being debated. There is no doubt the government has jumped the gun in announcing an expansion.”
The current capacity of the facility is 366. After the expansion it will be 476, with a surge capacity up to 508.