INDEPENDENT NEWS

Inmates Running Prisons Says Watchdog

Published: Mon 28 May 2007 09:37 AM
Sensible Sentencing Trust Press Release 27-5-07
Inmates Running Prisons Says Watchdog
Following the most recent riot in prison the Sensible Sentencing Trust is calling for an immediate review of prison policy and a return to hard labour and punishment for breaches of prison rules or damage to property.
A Trust spokesman said he had recently been contacted by a number of prison staff saying that management of prisons has become impossible and inmates virtually control New Zealand jails.
Trust founder and national spokesman Garth McVicar said, “From information we are receiving it appears the politically correct soft-on-crime experiment has now trickled down from our Courts to our Prisons, frustrating guards and causing many of the problems that have recently emerged – including the riots and staff stand downs.
Mr. McVicar said he had recently been contacted by prison staff, who said they were unable to speak out themselves due to the code of conduct in their employment contracts,
“But the frustration is loud and clear, they say the gangs are now running the prisons and using intimidation and stand over tactics to get what they want.”
“If the staff do not comply the inmates concoct a story between them, the result is management believe the inmates and the guard is stood down pending an inquiry.”
“Prison staff also tell me that management have issued warnings for staff not to look up prisoners on the computer system unless they are directly involved with that inmate.”
McVicar said that staff had also told him that cell-phone usage by inmates was rife and cell searches were virtually impossible with the inmates having more rights than the staff. They also say that sentence planning and rehabilitation programmes were like “Alice-in-Wonderland” and the inmates were treating the whole thing as a big joke.
“Some staff tell me they have tried the “Protected Disclosure Act” but had been fobbed off or totally ignored by their bosses.”
“From what we have been told it appears the politically correct soft-on-crime experiment is now firmly entrenched in our prison management.”
“McVicar said the Sensible Sentencing Trust was calling for an immediate review of prison policy and would be calling for a return to hard labour and punishment for a breach of prison rules.”
ENDS

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