New Christchurch Men’s Prison unit for violent offenders welcomed by penal reform advocates

A new unit for managing violent prisoners at Christchurch Men's prison, is being welcomed by penal reform advocates, the Howard League.

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The high security unit – Miro – was officially opened today. Source: 1 NEWS

The high security management unit, Miro, was officially opened today, and the Department of Corrections says it will allow better segregation of dangerous prisoners, or those who are in danger of being harmed.

Corrections Acting Chief Executive Rachel Leota says, "They’re people who have really challenging behaviours they're particularly violent they might be on segregation as we call it so they cannot be mixing with other people."

The $20 million unit will soon accommodate 20 prisoners. It has separate, secure rooms for hosting outside visits, a health area, and a classroom dedicated to rehabilitation and education.

They're all factors the Howard League strongly endorses.

Howard League for Penal Reform President Tony Gibbs says it's, "very positive and I think good on them, keep going, there's probably not enough of them there's probably not enough money".

He says the unit will see benefits on both sides of the bars, "If it's better for them it's actually better for New Zealand, they come out earlier and they cost less money. It’s very good for the taxpayer."

The unit will become operational next week.