Female inmates can glam up in prison

ANNA PEARSON
Last updated 05:00 01/01/2014

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Clothing is not available to buy in New Zealand's female prison institutions but lipstick and mascara are.

The Department of Corrections budgets about $63 a year per inmate on clothing for women in prison compared to about $108 for New Zealand's male inmates.

At mid July there were 71 inmates at Arohata Prison in Wellington, 354 at Auckland Region Women's Corrections Facility and 83 at Christchurch Women's Prison.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections said the three women's prisons' different populations were reflected in their 2013-2014 clothing budgets:

Auckland Region Women's Corrections Facility - $23,200 ($65 per prisoner).

Arohata Prison - $7116 ($100 per prisoner).

Christchurch Women's Prison - $5380 ($65 per prisoner).

Department of Corrections deputy national commissioner Maria McDonald said clothing was recycled where possible and replacement costs were budgeted for.

"The forecast average cost of prisoner clothing is $63 per female and $108 per male. Male prisoners generally require items to be replaced more frequently than female prisoners due to greater wear and tear," she said.

McDonald said prisoners at Arohata Prison received a sweatshirt, polarfleece, laundry bag and two T-shirts at the start of their sentences.

They also got two pairs of shorts, two pairs of trackpants, five pairs of knickers, five bras, five singlets and jandals or sandshoes if needed.

She said most prison clothing distributed at women's prisons was produced by inmates as part of an offender employment programme.

Sentenced prisoners at Arohata Prison wore prison-issued clothing and remand-accused prisoners wore their own clothes.

Christchurch Women's Prison manager Tracy Tyro said prisoners were also provided with a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, all-in-one shampoo and conditioner and sanitary products on arrival.

Body wash, hairbrushes, moisturiser, emery boards, mascara and lipstick could be bought through the prison's canteen service, Tyro said.

Items such as aerosols or sprays, glass containers, nail polish and nail polish remover were banned.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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