Prison mother-baby unit opens

The new Dr Vanessa Goodwin cottages have officially opened at the Mary Hutchinson’s Women’s Prison.

The new modern facilities accommodate up to 25 female prisoners, including five specifically designed rooms to cater for mothers and their babies.

The $2.6 million project was named to honour the public service of former Attorney-General and Minister for Corrections, Dr Vanessa Goodwin.

“Vanessa was passionate and deeply committed to prisoner rehabilitation, and helping to get prisoners lives back on track so they could become productive members of society following their release from prison.”

“These new facilities will honour her significant legacy, by helping to strengthen the bond between mother and baby in the critical early stages of life,” said Premier Hodgman.

Attorney- General and Minister for Corrections Elise Archer says the facility will also enable the Tasmanian Prison Service to better accommodate the increasing number of female prisoners.

“The two 10-bed minimum security units and five-bed mother and baby units also include a day care facility, and can cater for mothers with a disability,” said Minister Archer.

“They provide a safe and specifically designed environment for new mothers, pregnant women and newborn babies, allowing increased opportunities for parent/child attachment in prison.”

This latest opening continues the Hodgman Liberal Government’s strong record of investment when it comes to prison infrastructure, which will not only keep the community safe but also allow greater opportunities for prisoners to rehabilitate.

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