Prison's building scheme gets the go ahead
OVERCROWDING and calls for the modernisation of Stanley Prison have prompted the Southern District Board to allow its redevelopment.
The board yesterday endorsed a $700 million four-year project which will allow an extra 700 prisoners and several hundred staff.
The committee heard the territory's 20 penal institutions were overcrowded by 25 per cent and the redevelopment was the best long-term solution.
The board welcomed the plan but some members expressed concern over extra traffic caused by visitors for the additional inmates.
But a Transport Department spokesman said he expected no major increase in traffic near the prison. He said the existing roads could handle more vehicles.
Correctional Services Department spokesman Patrick Wong Wing-kit said approval of the redevelopment was essential to reduce overcrowding.
'We are happy there were no objections from the board as this project will go a long way in relieving overcrowding in this facility. It will partly solve the overall overcrowding problem in the territory.' He said a final approval for funds would be sought from the Legislative Council before reconstruction commences in December.
The redevelopment will see construction of an annexe adjacent to Tung Tau Correctional Institution providing accommodation for 200 prisoners along with extensions to Stanley Prison for another 100 inmates.
The football field next to to Stanley Prison will be converted into a medium-security facility housing a further 400 prisoners while 480 additional quarters for staff will be built.
Fears of lax security during the redevelopment were brushed aside. The department said it would take measures to maintain security levels.
Closed circuit television systems, electronic gates and and other modern features would be introduced.