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Prisoners still watching R-rated movies

Simon Power
National Party Law & Order Spokesman

8 October 2006

Prisoners still watching R-rated movies

National's Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power, says it is very concerning that at a time when violent crime is increasing, Corrections is still letting prisoners watch movies containing violence, kidnapping, extortion, murder and jail breaks.

Mr Power today released the latest prisons movie playlist, which includes R18 movies such as LA Confidential (violence), Monster (violence, sexual violence), Night Watch (violence), and R16 movies Derailed (extortion, murder), Boyz n the Hood (violence, drug abuse), Crash (violence, sex scenes).

"These movies, as well as many others on the playlist which are rated M but contain violence, breach Correction’s policy on what prisoners can watch. R-rated movies are supposed to be banned, yet there are more than 60 of those on the list.

“On February 28, Corrections Minister Damien O’Connor told Parliament that he would stop these sorts of movies being played in prisons.

“He said: ‘I do not believe that those movies are appropriate. The policy in this area has been breached, and the staff have been told again that it is not acceptable.’ And ‘…I say once again that this was a breach of policy. Staff will be reminded about the policy, and we will endeavour to prevent it ever happening again’.

“It is clear Damien O’Connor has not followed through on his undertaking to the House.

"It is completely unsatisfactory for prisoners to be exposed to these sorts of movies when violent crime is rising to very worrying levels, and as the department cuts work schemes, and many of its rehab programmes are not living up to expectation.

“Statistics out this week show that crime is up 6.9% on a year ago, and that since 2000, violent crime has risen by 26%, to 50,644 offences, with grievous assaults up 54%, and serious assaults up 30%.

“By allowing prisoners to see this sort of stuff I believe Corrections is not doing its part in helping to reduce recidivism.

"I would like Damien O'Connor to explain how watching these movies is going to help rehabilitate people so they are ready to contribute to society when they leave prison rather than jump straight back into a life of crime.

“What little credibility this Minister had has now been shot to pieces. He is either sitting on his hands or no one is listening to him. Either way, he has lost control of his department and should go.”


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