$56.1m earmarked for new beds in overloaded South Australia jails

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South Australia’s 2016 budget will provide for more beds in overcrowded jails and will also focus on creating more jobs in the state.

According to a report by the ABC, $56.1 million is earmarked to add 198 beds to overcrowded prisons which already house record highs or over 2,700 inmates.

By 2019, it is estimated that over 3,000 inmates will be in South Australia jails which now even have prisoners sleeping in common areas.

"We've got more police on the streets than any other state per capita and that means they catch more criminals and that means we have to house them," Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis said.
Included in the $56.1 million budget will be 132 beds for Port Augusta, 26 for Mobilong and 40 for Mount Gambier.

Koutsantonis also revealed that $44 million is in the budget to for additional health checks, mental health support and domestic violence programs in the state's APY Lands, the report also noted.
Another focus of the budget is jobs, owing to the fact that South Australia has the highest unemployment in the country.

"Tomorrow you're going to see an unprecedented investment in small businesses in South Australia. They're the backbone of our economy, they're our largest employers," he said.

"Our unemployment level in this state is unacceptable no one thinks it's good enough - not us, not mums and dads at home," he added.

The budget includes ideas from other states, the treasurer said, tweaked to work better for South Australia.