New prison operational by end of 2014

Thursday, August 19, 2010
Issue 1093, Page 3
Word count: 430
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

A more spacious prison has broken ground over a hill in Ka-Ho yesterday. Yet it is estimated that inmates will not move into the new facility before 2015.

The first phase of the construction costing MOP 113 million has formally begun, which includes periphery roads and pipelines, observation tower, electricity sub-stations and a gas station. The completion date is scheduled for the first quarter of 2012.

The second, third and fourth phases of the construction will commence between the second quarter of 2011 and the third quarter of 2013 and the works will cover workshops for inmates, prison cells, an integrated building, administrative building, examination building, as well as a staff dormitory and training building.

It is expected that the whole prison will be made ready for operation before the end of 2014.

According to director of the Macau Prison, Lee Kam Cheong, he has not yet received any information about the future of the existing prison once the new one becomes operational.

He said that a bigger prison is needed since the current one was designed to hold 1,297 inmates only, adding that at present they have no space to set up new facilities that can help them “keep pace” with social development.

There are currently 926 inmates at the Coloane prison.

The new prison will be able to confine up to 2,700 inmates.

“For example, our women’s ward has already exceeded the maximum capacity. It’s also hard for us to implement maintenance works because the prison is too crowded,” Lee told reporters at the ground breaking ceremony.

Asked whether the staff training centre will focus on enhancing prison guards’ English language skills in response to the increasing number of foreign prisoners in Macau, Lee told the Macau Daily Times that the training will be “all-round and include topics as long as they’re needed”.

Meanwhile, deputy director of the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT) Shin Chung Low said that the new Macau Prison will be constructed using environmental building materials, smart lighting systems, and also a wastewater recycling system – the first time that such technology has been introduced in Macau’s public works.

The recycling system will collect and treat the water used mainly in hand washing and showers and the reclaimed water can then be used to flush toilets, irrigate and clean up streets, Shin said.

In addition, the DSSOPT will start to upgrade the sewer system surrounding the new prison shortly, and construct sewer pipes around Estrada do Altinho de Ka Ho in order to connect the new prison with the existing Coloane sewage treatment plant.

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