Book ’em, Dano!

20 May

Greetings, Campers!

We’re gonna play;

“Do You Remember?”

A while back, I told you about a company in Alabama that is turning shipping containers into prison cells.

Jingle Bells – Jingle Bells, I’m lockin up yer butt…

They look like this, if you’re um… housed there:

Well, Madrigorne, (one of my favorite long-time lurkers of this blog who lives up north in the tundra) recently reminded me that the “Corten Containment Camps” are spreading, globally.

We’ve focused on what’s happening in New Zealand a lot lately, after the terrible earthquake that devastated Christchurch.

ISBUs ARE being used to rebuild some homes that were lost.

ISBUs are also being used in New Zealand to house inmates incarcerated in New Zealand Prisons.

As a result, neighbors to the NorthWest (Australia) have been watching closely and have adopted a similar program.

From the AAP (May 19, 2011):

Shipping container prison cell trial for SA

From correspondents in Auckland
From: AAP
May 19, 2011 2:01PM

A QUIRKY scheme to lock prisoners in recycled shipping containers has been so successful in New Zealand that it’s set to be rolled out across several jails.

The new-look accommodation, to be trialled in South Australia, has “outperformed expectations” across the Tasman where it has been in use for a year.

Since the 60-bed block opened at Rimutaku Prison near Wellington there have been no incidents involving alcohol, drugs, mobile phones or weapons, and no violence against staff.

The block, entirely constructed from converted containers, has been touted as the cheapest and fastest way to build extra prison capacity as prisoner numbers reach all-time highs.

The South Australian Government announced earlier this month it would trial use of a six-unit block to see how effective it is.

If the New Zealand trial is anything to go by it could soon be in wide use in Australia.

New Zealand’s corrections minister, Judith Collins, told parliament yesterday there had been significantly fewer incidents in the container unit when compared with other blocks.

Maintenance costs were 34 per cent lower than expected and vandalism was extremely low, she said.

A study is now underway to see which prisons will use them.

Shipping containers are already used as modular accommodation and storage systems for the defence and emergency services, while a 120-room Travelodge in Uxbridge, England, is constructed entirely of prefabricated shipping containers.

Okay, first; Uxbridge ISN’T built out of Shipping Containers. They are custom built modules that resemble shipping containers. They are NOT the same animal at all.

Now, it appears that the Australians think this whole “Corten Prison idea” is barbaric.

Corrections Minister Tom Koutsantonis is catching a lot of flack over this idea.

Tom counters that 12m containers are “future of Australia’s prisons” and he pointed out that the Government would save up to $430,000 per cell by using the refitted containers.

“I think civil libertarians will be up in arms over the fact that we are using shipping containers,” Tom said. “I understand this is controversial, I understand this is different but I think we have got to make sure that we can house our prisoners safely, securely and cheaply.”

I smell “Mad Max” Container prejudice! Somebody call the ACLU! πŸ™‚

Many claim that it’s inhumane to house convicts in containers. After all, they are, in his own words; “spartan, but of course humane”.

“If it is good enough for miners earning over $200,000 (annually), it is damn well good enough for prisoners,” he said.

I might also point out that those same basic configurations are being used to house our own SOLDIERS globally. THEY don’t find them “inhumane”. I’ve even been housed in them myself. They sure beat the crap out of “field conditions”… let me tell you!

In Australia, however, the civil libertarians are up in arms. They think the containers are “a short-term solution that needed more thought.”

“I would have thought the future of prisons involves the rehabilitation of prisoners,” he said. “There needs to be a focus on rehabilitation and reasonable conditions, not just cheap housing but effective housing.”

Um… can you really point me at a prison system where “rehabilitation” isn’t anything more than just a six syllable word?

These detention dorms ARE efficient, cost effective alternatives to the usual high dollar prison cell blocks. Properly designed (and easily designed too!), they can actually be fabricated by inmates in workshops located at the prisons.

This accomplishes several things;

  • The inmates contribute to the elevation of their own housing conditions.
  • They learn valuable job skills,
  • They save the country money in the prison operation budget, and
  • They use a resource already available and sitting dormant.

Prisoners from Cadell, in the Riverland, will be the first to be locked inside the new cells during a trial which is expected to begin next week.

If successful, the containers will be used to house prisoners across the entire prison network.

And if the Australians find them too unconventional?

We can buy them on the cheap and use them to house our unruly kids… right in our own backyards! πŸ™‚

“Do the dishes or it’s off to theΒ  C.C.V. (Corten Containment Vessel) for you, ya brat!” πŸ˜‰


6 Responses to “Book ’em, Dano!”

  1. Len May 20, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    I like the idea of putting the kids there already…. gives a new meaning to “take two and call me in the morning” (yes I have two kids still at home). Rehab sounds nice…. but really, public safety comes first. Most prisoners get a second chance after time… meanwhile, a cell is a cell… brick or container… same size anyway. I was quite happy to have a 30×8 rv for my son and me… not sure what the fuss is about.

  2. Margie Gonzalez May 21, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    Dr. Plasma,

    I am in Birmingham, AL doing some volunteer work. Give me a call we need to talk about whats going on down here. Still have my number?
    Hope your family is doing well. Nice book!


    • Renaissance Ronin May 23, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

      Hi Margie,

      UP THERE… not “down Here” unless you were visiting the Yankees first! πŸ˜‰

      Keep me informed on your progress!

      And thanks for the nice comment!

  3. Madrigorne May 23, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    I knew you’d like that one. The prisoners themselves appear to πŸ˜‰

    • Renaissance Ronin May 23, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

      Hey, what’s NOT to like?

      Sturdy shelter, “minimalist” style and living quarters larger than most NY City Apartments! πŸ™‚

      Them inmates be stylin! πŸ™‚

  4. Robert Sheperd May 27, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    How quickly could you roll out enough containers to house the 40,000 inmates that the Supreme Court says must be released due to overcrowding in California’s prison system. What would be the approximate cost per inmate?

Comments are closed.