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Australia unveils 1st "rapid-build prison" to cope with rising incarceration rate

Xinhua,December 15, 2017 Adjust font size:

SYDNEY, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Australian State of New South Wales (NSW) unveiled its first "rapid-build prison" on Friday, in an effort to combat a sharp increase in the prison population.

Part of a 2.9-billion-U.S. dollar prison infrastructure program, the Macquarie Correctional Center will house 400 inmates in the state's central west, who are due to arrive in the coming days.

"Less than 17 months ago I stood here in a green, grassy field and turned the first sod for our revolutionary rapid-build prison," NSW Minister for Corrections David Elliott said.

"Today I'm proud to unveil Australia's first high-tech and innovative dormitory-style prison, which has been delivered with unprecedented speed," said Elliott.

"This center will not only go a long way to address the state's rising prison population, but also revolutionise prison life for these inmates."

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the country's prison population has risen over 40 percent in the last five years, which translates to 11,877 extra people.

Over the past decade, the total number of females incarcerated has also shot up around 80 percent.

For this reason, many experts have called on governing bodies to introduce more innovative ways to help stop prisoners reoffending.

Elliott believed the new maximum security complex will address these concerns and give inmates "unparalleled access to education, training and employment" through the prison's innovative workshops and rehabilitation-focused structure.

A second "rapid-build prison" is also due to open 200 km north of Sydney early next year. Enditem