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Prisoners get state-of-the-art TVs

Prisoners get state-of-the-art TVs

Prisoners in the new Auckland Women’s Corrections Facility have state-of-the-art televisions which most New Zealanders cannot afford, says National’s Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power.

He is releasing information that shows there are four flat-screen LCD TVs installed for prisoners at a cost of $1,689 plus gst each.

“Corrections Minister Damien O’Connor says they used LCDs for ‘safety and security factors’, but how can they justify that?

“Normal TVs can be wall-mounted well out of reach, as they are in other prisons, so why not buy them – at about a quarter of the price.

“Under this Labour-led Government our prisoners get luxuries they should not have access to, and which many law-abiding people cannot afford.”

• Under-floor heating.
• $11 million worth of landscaping.
• Almost uncontrolled use of cellphones.
• A huge choice of R-rated videos.
• Meals of steak and ice cream as rewards.
• Afternoons swimming at the beach.

“This is a further example of how Damien O’Connor has lost control of his own department. He seems to have no idea what is going on in our prisons.

“On September 14, in answer to a question about whether there were plasma or LCD TVs in prisons, he told Parliament: ‘I would expect there would not be any other than the exceptional one that might be for treatment or programmes within the prison system. We do not provide TVs for prisoners in the New Zealand corrections system.’

“In June, at the opening of Auckland Women’s Prison, he said: ‘These prisons are not and will not be "gold-plated", and ‘We do not like to sink so much money in prisons.’

“He could have fooled me. And after presiding over a $490m construction budget blowout you would have thought he would have ordered sensible spending, but there is no sign of that.

“What’s more, he says LCD TVs are also likely to be installed in the Otago and Spring Hill prisons that are still under construction.

“Under his watch, victims are trying to put their lives back together while these guys are sitting around watching Prison Break on flat-screen TVs and kept warm by under-floor heating, all at taxpayers’ expense.”

Ends

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