Press Release – Department Of Corrections
The Department of Corrections is holding an open day at Wellington Prison from 10am to 3pm this Saturday, before the prison officially closes at the end of the month.
Karen Petrie, Corrections Services’ Lower North Regional Manager said the prison was a good example of an early 20th century prison, and visitors would see this during the open day.
“Wellington Prison has now reached the end of its life after 85 years in operation. When it was built in 1927 it was considered a progressive facility for its time. However, New Zealand has moved on considerably since then and today the prison is not up to the standard of a modern Corrections facility and no longer meets our needs.
“We’re committed to reducing re-offending by 25 percent by 2017, and to do so, we need facilities that will help us meet that target,’ she said.
During the open day, visitors will be able to take a self-guided tour of the prison, starting with the control room and then the receiving office, where newly-arrived prisoners were photographed and their details checked, before moving on through the prison.
The prison’s cell blocks will be open for visitors to see how prisoners ate, slept and showered.
Visitors will also be able to see the print shop, which has been an important part of Wellington Prison and remains an important rehabilitation industry for Corrections, enabling prisoners to gain valuable skills and experience that help them find work once they are released back into the community.
“There’s a lot to see and take in during the open day, and Corrections staff will be on hand to answer any questions people have,” Ms Petrie said.
“It’s also an opportunity for anyone who’s interested in joining Corrections, either as a Corrections Officer, Nurse or Psychologist, to talk with our recruitment team.”
Entry to the open day is by gold coin donation, with funds going to charities selected by Wellington Prison staff, including Night Shelter, Women’s Refuge, Victim Support and the Salvation Army.
All prisoners will have been relocated to other prisons ahead of the open day.
Open Day Details
When: Wellington Prison Open Day, Saturday 24 November, 10am – 3pm.
Where: Main Road, Maupuia, Wellington 6022
Cost: Entry by gold coin donation, with all proceeds going to Night Shelter, Women’s Refuge, Victim Support and the Salvation Army.
Remember: Corrections facilities are smoke-free. Visitors are encouraged to car-pool as there is limited parking at the prison.
Wellington Prison will be decommissioned following its official closure on 30 November 2012.
Once the site has been decommissioned, the Department intends to hand it over to Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) to manage the disposal of the buildings and land, taking into account both historic and treaty settlement considerations.
Since July, prisoners have been gradually relocated to Rimutaka Prison and other prisons based on standard transfer practice and their individual needs.