More funding for prisons

Some of the clinking cash in today's budget will go to clanking keys in prisons after $69.3 million over four years was locked off for prison beds.

Growth in prisoner numbers, combined with 1055 spaces being decomissioned, meant 2270 more prison beds were needed by 2019.

Funding would go to:

• $24m over four years towards the new Wiri prison in South Auckland, which will be built and operated in partnership with private firms and expected to be in use by 2015;

• $45.3m over the same period for 245 more beds at Mt Eden Prison to be in service by the end of 2012;

• From existing funding $11.2m for literacy, numeracy and work-based training for prisoners.

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