ACT Corrections Minister Shane Rattenbury has indicated his desire to see bread baked by Canberra prisoners on supermarket shelves for sale to the general public.
The minister announced on Monday that the jail will have a new $9 million bakery program along with a laundry service to help people in jail a chance to work and earn. He aimed at giving the prisoners a life of dignity. The effort has been made to initiate rehabilitation and kill restlessness that is very common among the prisoners. He said that at the initial stage, the bakery products made by prisoners would be to supply goods to their peers in jail, but he soon hopes to see those products into the supermarkets someday for sale to the general public.
“In the first instance, [the bakery] will be focused on providing products for use within the jail. On a longer term one might consider the possibility of perhaps exporting them outside into the commercial arena,” the ABC quoted Rattenbury as saying. “I’d really love to see the day where jail bread is making it out into the market in Canberra, and people can see that our prisoners are doing great work as well. I think it’d have a real niche market, I think there would be a certain something about bread that was coming from jail.”
The bakery and laundry service initiative has been modelled based upon what has been followed by the Long Bay jail in Sydney. The program will be funded with $7 million, which has been saved during the constant expansion of the Alexander Maconochie Center. The project is expected to complete before the schedule with less than expected cost of worth $54 million.
Corrective Services Executive Director Bernadette Mitcherson said that the bakery needs to fulfill the demands of the prison inmates first. He said that around 400 people will be fed thrice a day for seven day in a week. However, she seconded the thoughts of Rattenbury to see the prisoners’ produced bakery products in supermarkets soon.