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Corrections finally tells truth about contraband

Simon Power
National Party Law & Order Spokesman

12 April 2006

Corrections finally tells truth about contraband

The Corrections Department has finally been forced to tell the truth about the amount of contraband being smuggled into prisons, says National’s Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power.

He is commenting on figures released tonight by the department.

“It is great that so much contraband is being intercepted, but these figures are very worrying because I suspect they are just the tip of the iceberg.

“But at least now we know what they are, because in recent months the department has been hiding the true extent of contraband because it is embarrassed by the amount getting in.

“On February 16, Damien O’Connor said only three cell phones had been seized in Paparoa Prison in the previous 12 months, but the Corrections Association contradicted that by producing figures that showed an astonishing amount of contraband had been seized in the previous three months alone.

“Damien O’Connor was clearly being fast and loose with the truth. So I asked some parliamentary questions on the matter, but they have clearly decided it would be better for them to come clean and tell the truth on the true extent of the problem before giving me the figures.

“What is worrying about these latest figures is that they show that despite the surveillance and threats of punishment, neither prisoners nor visitors have any fear about getting caught – probably because they know they probably won’t be.

“The public has a long way to go to regain any confidence in the Corrections Department when it is so easy for visitors to smuggle anything from cellphones to drugs into prison.”


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