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Need for Corrections inquiry now undeniable

Simon Power
National Party Law and Order Spokesman

5 March 2006

Need for Corrections inquiry now undeniable

National’s Law and Order spokesman, Simon Power, says the Rachealle Namana case leaves the Government with little choice but to act on National’s call for a wide-ranging select committee inquiry into the Corrections Department.

Ms Namana – who has just completed a six-year sentence for the manslaughter of 23-month-old Lillybing – says she has not been rehabilitated and claims that whilst in prison she:

- Had access to a range of drugs, including pure methamphetamine.
- Had a cell phone on which she downloaded pornography.
- Developed gang associations that she continues to maintain outside of prison.

She also says that she and other former inmates make regular payments into the bank accounts of friends still in prison, enabling them to buy supplies on the inside.

Namana said her time in prison ‘did not seem long at all’ and that prison is ‘not as hard as people make out’.

Mr Power says with these kinds of allegations on the table the Government cannot continue to turn a blind eye.

“There are some pretty rotten things going on in our prisons - we've seen prisoners sleeping in vans, a big increase in smuggling contraband into prisons, we've heard the suggestion that criminals should be prison guards, seen budgets blown and prisoners accessing violent movies.

”Add to that the Rachealle Namana situation and there’s no denying the system is in crisis.

“Hopefully now all political parties represented on the select committee will support a wide-ranging inquiry,” says Mr Power.


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