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Prisoner compo claims rise as bed crisis worsens

28 July 2005

Prisoner compo claims to rise as bed crisis worsens

National's Law and Order spokesman, Tony Ryall, says more prisoner compensation claims look likely as the prison muster crisis worsens.

"Labour's incompetence is going to cost taxpayers dearly."

He is commenting on latest figures supplied to him by the Corrections Department which show that in June, prisoners were held in court and police cells for a total of 6,083 bed-nights, compared with 5,629 in May and 921 in February.

"This is the highest number ever, and shows that Labour's assurances after the last crisis were nothing more than hot air. They had no idea what they were doing.

"Prison officers are now extremely concerned at what they say are dangerous levels of overcrowding. They describe every prison in the country as 'chockablock'.

"A second jail crisis in less than nine months shows the total incompetence of this Labour Government and this Corrections Minister.

"They said only months ago that they had this under control and that there would be no repeat.

"Mainstream New Zealand should be worried by this escalating crisis because it means there will be more prisoner compensation claims," Mr Ryall says.

"Police continually warn about the dangers caused by holding prisoners in police and court cells. Last year's crisis saw officers and inmates attacked and prisoner complaints rise."

ENDS

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