Invercargill Prison is opening its gates on Saturday 16 May to offer the community a rare opportunity to go inside and see life behind the wire – without having to commit an offence.
The Prison is holding a public open day for the first time in four years.
“While we are located so close to the CBD, many residents of our city will have no idea what goes on behind the walls,” says Invercargill Prison Manager Stu Davie.
“We employ around 100 very dedicated and hard working people in various roles around the prison who are proud to make a difference in their community. This open day is a chance for the public to see what our staff do and how they maintain public safety while working on the rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners.
“We want to encourage anyone who has an interest in what we do to come along,” says Mr Davie.
“While prisons appear on television regularly what you see is rarely accurate, and we’d like to show the reality of a prison environment in New Zealand.
“Visitors to the prison will get to see a typical cell, exercise yards, the prison kitchen and visits centre.”
Invercargill Prison began as a Borstal, until borstal training was abolished in 1981. Since 1985 Invercargill Prison has held male prisoners mostly from the South Island. The prison holds a maximum of 180 sentenced and remand prisoners with security classifications from minimum to high medium.
Invercargill Prison must remain a highly secure environment at all times. To maintain this security all visitors to the site must first complete a visitor application form and give their consent for a criminal record check. These forms are available from the Invercargill Prison reception between 8am – 4pm or by contacting Janis Petersen on (03) 211 3424 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We have a limited amount of time to get people through so anyone wishing to visit will be accepted on a first come first serve basis. To guarantee your spot please complete the visitors form as quickly as possible. Without that form you will not be allowed onsite,” says Mr Davie.
Completed forms must be returned to the prison by 11 May 2009.
Visitors to the site will be admitted from 1.00pm on 16 May, with the last tour starting no later than 1.45pm. No one will be admitted after that time. The tour is approximately 1 hour long and all visitors will leave the site by 3.15pm.
Notes to reporter:
For further information contact the Communications Services Desk:
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