Emergency work has been commissioned by France to improve the conditions at New Caledonia's jail.
A top official at the overseas correctional service says the project also includes plans to create a better working environment and should be done by 2014.
This comes amid repeated cases of prison unrest, with the corrections workers union raising the alarm again last week, saying the situation is extremely tense and dangerous.
The Noumea prison is one of the worst run by France and notorious for its overcrowding and filth.
Last year, Paris announced plans to extend the jail by 2016 but the city of Noumea has refused to issue a building permit.