10 Sep 2017

Corrections looks at options to reduce prison numbers

3:29 pm on 10 September 2017

The Corrections Department is helping prisoners get out of jail and onto electronic bail because it is running out of space to keep them.

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About 4000 people are on electronic monitoring at any one time, Corrections said last year. Photo: Supplied

It said a programme was underway to ensure inmates who were eligible to apply for electronic bail or home detention were supported to do so.

Corrections said the current prison population had grown beyond expectation, and more people were being held on remand.

It said extra space had been found in Hawke's Bay, Arohata, Christchurch Men's, Mount Eden, Whanganui, Northland and Waikeria prisons through double-bunking and reopening units previously closed.

It's also using the New Plymouth remand centre to cope with numbers and said it was planning new facilities at five other prisons.

Corrections National Commissioner Rachel Leota said they were working to ensure offenders were aware of all the appropriate options available to them, including electronically monitored bail or home detention.

She said it was important they didn't face any barriers to apply for such options, and staff were focusing on ensuring they were supported.

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