Risdon Prison cottages opened

LONG-term prisoners will be given the chance to re-adjust to outside life with the opening of four minimum-open cottages at Risdon Prison.

The cottages will house four inmates each and are set up like a normal house, with separate bedrooms and a shared kitchen and bathroom.

They are designed to help inmates regain forgotten essential skills, like how to cook, manage a budget and even just get themselves up in time to go to work, Corrections Minister Nick McKim said. 

``Almost everybody in our prison system is going to be released one day and when they are released, they are going to be released into the community,'' Mr McKim said.

``If we are serious about keeping our community safe, we have to get that transition period right.'' 

Mr McKim said the transition cottages would help reduce recidivism rates by ensuring shell-shocked newly released prisoners did not fall back on crime.

The cottages were transported to Risdon Prison Complex from the now-decommissioned Hayes Prison Farm at New Norfolk, where they were staff accommodation.

It cost about $90,000 to get them ready for inmates and inmates helped tradespeople in the build.

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