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Power proposes terms of reference for Corrections

Simon Power National Party Law & Order Spokesman

25 January 2006

Power proposes terms of reference for Corrections inquiry

National's Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power, has today written to the chairman of Parliament's law and order select committee asking for an urgent, wide-ranging inquiry into the Corrections Department.

"From what I can see Corrections is a shambles, and I want the inquiry to cover a raft of issues.

"Over the past two or three months a number of serious issues have arisen into the way the department and its officials have conducted various matters. They include:

The prison overspend on construction of regional prisons, and the financial implications of these blowouts.

* Overcrowding, including the housing of prisoners in vans and in police and court cells, and a Corrections report that predicts continuing problems through to 2011.

* Security concerns, including 'design faults' at Ngawha Prison, escapes from Rimutaka and Christchurch prisons, and possible security implications for other prisons.

* Staff morale, including a recent vote of 'no confidence' in prison management by guards at Manawatu Prison.

* Staffing issues, including recruitment problems, the recent suggestion of criminals being employed as prison guards, and stand-downs and dismissals.

* Operational problems, including issues surrounding non-compliance with parole, and contraband and cellphones in prisons.


"I have asked that the inquiry include but not be limited to these issues, and look forward to the support of all political parties represented on the select committee," says Mr Power.

ENDS

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