Over the last few years, we’ve been seeing more and more creative uses for shipping containers, including housing, restaurants, stores, and art. Here’s one more for the list: jail cells.
Go to shipping container. Go directly to shipping container. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
This seems like something from a movie or a board game; however, it’s real life.
According to an article from ABC News, overcrowding of jails in Victoria–a state in south-east Australia–has led Corrections Victoria to the decision of housing prisoners in shipping containers.
Maybe this will make for easier prisoner transfers. They could just be shipped right in their cell from one location to another. Okay. Maybe not.
Prison population in Victoria this year has risen by 11% to nearly 6,000 according to the article. No other state in Australia has prison population growing at such a fast rate and it has Corrections Victoria scrambling for space to keep up with the growth.
ABC reports that Dhurringile prison, in the north of Victoria, will have 50 shipping containers installed to house 100 prisoners.
“They’re sealed containers and they’re fitted out with the same amenities that you would have in a regular prison cell, with showers, basins, beds and cupboards,” ABC quotes Corrections Commissioner Jan Shuard as saying. “They’re quite a generous space for people to be able to use as their room.”
Shipping container cells will be used in minimum security prisons. Some worry about how effective they will be. The ABC article says:
The shipping containers will not be connected to the prison’s intercom system, meaning the doors will remain unlocked to allow quick exit in the event of an emergency.
It is proposed infrared beams will be used to help staff identify prisoners who escape.
Prison cells with unlocked doors? That sounds like bare minimum security to me. Victoria may want to invest in a few more of those “Prison Area: Do not pick up hitchhikers” signs.
For more stories about shipping containers, from uses beyond international shipping to useful tips to weird stories, check out the following blogs: