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Remand prisoner death "unbelievable"

Remand prisoner death "unbelievable", independent inspectorate needed: Greens

The death in custody of teenager Liam Ashley, reported in today's NZ Herald, raises questions about procedure and highlights the need for an independent prison inspectorate, Green MP Nandor Tanczos said today.

"How can a man be beaten to death in the back of a security van, and the guards not notice? Its unbelievable," Nandor said..

"It seems inconceivable that prisoners in transit are not constantly monitored, to ensure their safety never mind preventing escapes. What kind of budget operation is this?"

Liam Ashley was being transported to Auckland Central Remand Prison from court after being remanded in custody on charges of burglary and unlawfully taking a vehicle. He was dead when the van arrived and although he was revived, he died after being taken off life support on Friday.

"Any death in custody is an indictment on the Corrections Department. This one is especially tragic because it seems so easily preventable."

"It just reinforces the Green Party's demand for an independent prison inspectorate, not just to investigate complaints but to proactively examine procedures and policies to prevent such tragedies happening. Clearly the current system is not adequate and this latest death will spur our negotiations with the government to develop a fully independent and capable prison inspectorate."


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