Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Drugs In Prisons Reduced

The target to reduce the number of positive random drug tests to 20 percent over the past year has been achieved, says Matt Robson Minister of Corrections.

"This result shows that we're making good progress in our battle to eliminate drug use in prisons. We owe a lot to the professionalism of staff and their commitment to the drug reduction strategy."

The Department’s drug strategy is designed to reduce the supply of drugs into prison, the demand for drugs and the harm caused by drug abuse.

“This targeted approach works. Research shows that if you spend $1million on dedicated drug treatment, you will reduce the re-offending rate for serious crime fifteen times more than if you spend the same amount on only increasing prison sentences," says Matt Robson.

Corrections implemented a comprehensive testing programme in 1998, when positive random tests were at 35 percent. From June 2000 to June 2001 the Department caried out 2822 random tests, with 566 proving positive.

The Department also carries out other significant initiatives in conjunction with random testing aimed at reducing drug use.

“An 0800 Jail Safe number (0800 5240572) has been set up for inmates, inmates’ families, staff or the public so they can phone in if they have information relating to drugs in prisons. Often pressure is placed on inmates, staff and their families from both within and outside the prison to bring drugs into prisons.

“Visitor vehicle checkpoints also cut down the amount of drugs brought into prisons. The Department has five narcotics detection dog teams and crime prevention officers who often work with police to stop contraband entering our prisons.

“We are committed to doing everything we can to not only eliminate drug use in prisons, but work with inmates to address their drug and alcohol dependency problems. Many inmates have used drugs all their lives. Staff are aware of this and met the challenge through constant vigilance and monitoring of testing procedures," says Matt Robson.

Random drug testing figures by prison

Prison Random tests % positive
Auckland 383 18%
Mt Eden Male 107 27%
Mt Eden Female 16 6%
Waikeria 386 20%
Camps 232 16%
Ohura 50 8%
Hawkes Bay 326 25%
New Plymouth 51 25%
Wanganui 211 23%
Manawatu 91 24%
Arohata 64 12.5%
Wellington 60 13%
Rimutaka 206 30%
C/C/Male 362 21.5%
C/C/Female 46 4%
Rolleston 152 8.5%
Dunedin 12 0%
Invercargill 67 16%
2822 20%



© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: Zimbabwe - Meet The New Bosses

At 75, Mnangagwa is not exactly what you’d call a new broom. As many observers have pointed out, his track record has been one of unswerving dedication to Mugabe ever since the days of anti-colonial insurgency...

The falling out with Mugabe two weeks ago came only after Mugabe attempted to build a dynastic succession around his wife, Grace. Mnangagwa fled to South Africa, from where he orchestrated an Army coup led by his long–time ally, General Constantino Chiwenga, head of the country’s armed forces. To these guys, things had to change in Zimbabwe, so that things could remain the same. More>>


Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election