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Minister must explain report on prison

Minister must explain report on prison

National’s Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power, says the Corrections Minister must explain a report into Christchurch Men’s Prison that is apparently very scathing of security.

He is commenting on the ‘summary’ of a report into the escape of a dangerous inmate from Christchurch Men’s Prison in August.

“First we had prisoners at the $140 million Ngawha Prison wandering around in the middle of the night making themselves coffee in the staffroom, and now it is reported that this inmate escaped because of ‘a failure with the prison’s physical security system’.

“But it gets worse. The report also apparently blames the escape across the roof and over a fence on ‘a failure to adequately identify and respond to the prison’s security weaknesses’, and says ‘the absence of national standards governing prison security maintenance led to the deficiencies’.

“If this is correct then this is very worrying.

“Why is the department not able to adequately identify security weaknesses at a prison that holds dangerous prisoners?

“And why are there apparently no national standards governing prison security maintenance?

“I think we should be concentrating on getting the basics right. A prison’s first job is to keep inmates inside and it seems some of them are struggling to do that.

“We are waiting for a copy of the report, and it is up to Damien O’Connor to reassure the public that his priority is community safety,” Mr Power says.


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