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Prisoner alerted guards to breakout

Simon Power MP
National Party Law & Order Spokesman

18 June 2006

Prisoner alerted guards to breakout

It is a sad indictment on the prisons system when it has to rely on a prisoner to alert it to a security breach right under its own nose, says National’s Law &Order spokesman, Simon Power.

He is releasing answers to parliamentary questions that confirm that guards did not know two prisoners had breached security at Rimutaka Prison until a fellow prisoner called the 0800 JAILSAFE telephone line.

“What sort of prison system are we running?

“This is another example of an incompetent department stumbling from problem to problem, and is another reason why there should be a full and wide-ranging select committee inquiry, rather than the narrow inquiry into head office that has been announced.

“The public deserves some answers from Corrections Minister Damien O’Connor.

“It sounds like something out of Hogan’s Heroes, where prisoners at Stalag 13 are free to wander around during the night, helping themselves to anything they want, and no one has any idea it is happening.

“It is an appalling state of affairs when our Corrections Department has to rely on the goodwill of prisoners to tell it what is happening in its own prisons,” says Mr Power.

Attachment: 3829, 5118, 6347, 6348 -1 page

Parliamentary Questions – Simon Power


3829 (2006). Simon Power to the Minister of Corrections (12 April 2006):
How did Corrections find out that security had been breached by two inmates at Rimutaka prison on Sunday 26 March?
Hon Damien O'Connor (Minister of Corrections) replied: A phone call was made to the Department’s 0800 JAILSAFE number.


5118 (2006). Simon Power to the Minister of Corrections (11 May 2006):
Further to his response to question for written answer 3829 (2006), was the phone call made by an inmate?
Hon Damien O'Connor (Minister of Corrections) replied: Yes.

6347 (2006). Simon Power to the Minister of Corrections (31 May 2006):
How many times have the security systems been breached by inmates at Rimutaka prison in the last two years, specified by the date of each incident?
Hon Damien O'Connor (Minister of Corrections) replied: There has been one breach of security systems at Rimutaka Prison in the last two years. It occurred on 26 March 2006.

6348 (2006). Simon Power to the Minister of Corrections (31 May 2006):
Further to his response to question for written answer 3782 (2006), how many times have the security systems been breached by inmates in the upgraded section of Rimutaka prison in the last two years, specified by the date of each incident?
Hon Damien O'Connor (Minister of Corrections) replied: I refer the Member to my answer to question for written answer 6347 (2006). The incident occurred in a unit commissioned in 2002.

ENDS

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