New jail follows Singapore example

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 February, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 February, 2000, 12:00am

A proposed jail which would house Hong Kong's prison population in a single complex, follows closely a similar high-rise model due for completion in Singapore by 2008.

The 48-hectare Changi Prison complex will gather together in one place inmates from Singapore's 14 existing prisons and drug rehabilitation centres at a cost of S$1.07 billion (HK$4.8 billion).

It will have room for 23,000 inmates.

Singapore's existing prisons, which together cover about 61 hectares, will be demolished to make way for residential development, according to the Straits Times newspaper.

Detection and surveillance cameras will be mounted on multi-perimeter fencing.

Gurkhas and the Singapore Prisons Emergency Action Response team will guard the complex.

Most buildings in the Changi complex will be about eight storeys high.

The response team has been undergoing training to ensure members can handle every security concern.

The training includes rescuing inmates from the upper floors in the event of fire. In the past, the team concentrated mainly on crowd dispersal and riot control.

Singapore Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng has said placing all prison facilities in one complex would not only free land for development but also save money in the long run.

He said work processes and procedures would be simpler. He cited as an example the transfer of inmates from one penal institution to another, which could be carried out without any transport costs.