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Corrections hiding true extent of contraband

Simon Power National Party Law & Order Spokesman

9 March 2006

Corrections hiding true extent of contraband

The Corrections Department seems to be hiding the true extent of contraband entering prisons because it is embarrassed by the amount getting in, says National's Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power.

He is commenting on a report on the amount of contraband found in Paparoa Prison, in Christchurch. The figures, from the Corrections Association, show that in the three months to March 6, contraband seized included 38 mobile phones, six 'P' pipes, and 42 cannabis 'exhibits'.

"But figures supplied to me by Damien O'Connor just last week show that only three cell phones and no drugs or drug equipment were seized in Paparoa in the past 12 months," says Mr Power.

"Corrections are being fast and loose with the truth.

"This has all the hallmarks of a department at sixes and sevens, and I would expect Damien O'Connor to explain how and why he is being given such misleading information.

"I believe the latest information came from a contraband register in the prison, and National will be seeking copies of all these registers so we can see the true extent of the problem.

"How can the public trust anything Corrections has got to say if they are not prepared to front up honestly on this issue?

"Stopping the flow of contraband goes to the heart of what Corrections is all about. Efforts at rehabilitation are a waste of time if prisoners have access to drugs, or can organise burglaries and download porn on cell phones."

ENDS

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