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New initiatives to keep prisons safe and secure

The Minister of Corrections Matt Robson today announced two new initiatives designed to make prisons safer and support the Departments’ goal of reducing re-offending.

The new visiting system and an 0880 JAIL SAFE number are designed to make it easier for family and friends of inmates to visit, and for prison staff to better manage who visits, and to keep our prisons drug and crime free.

Matt Robson says that better management of visitors and visiting times will have many benefits for the safety and overall environment of prisons.

“The new visiting system will help minimise the introduction of drugs and other illegal items visitors bring into prisons. We’re also finding where the new system has been piloted, that the people who visit are genuinely commitment to the inmate. They're there for the right reasons. Everybody wins – it’s better for visitors, inmates and staff."

Under the new system, visitors must be approved by the prison manager before they can visit an inmate. Once approved, the inmate they are visiting must book a visit time within prison visiting hours. In special circumstances other arrangements to visit can be made. Implementation of the new visiting system at all prison sites will be completed by early 2001.

A new 0800 crime information number has also been introduced by the Department of Corrections. There is often pressure placed on inmates, staff and their families from both within and outside the prison to aid, abet or commit crime. 0800 JAIL SAFE is a safe way for people to ring and leave information, for the safety, protection or benefit of an inmate or any other person.

Matt Robson says that 0800 JAIL SAFE is confidential and anonymous. People calling 0800 JAIL SAFE can either leave a recorded message or speak directly to a Public Prisons official at National Office. All information received will be thoroughly investigated before any action is taken.

Copies of the “Prison Visitors” brochure or 0800 JAIL SAFE flyer are available on request from the Department of Corrections. Please call Rachel Broadmore on 04 460 3099.

ends

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