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Bacon Lady: Corrections' Next Personal Grievance?

Will 'Bacon Lady' Be Corrections' Next Personal Grievance?

Heather Roy
Thursday, 23 November 2006
Press Releases - Crime & Justice

Sixty two personal grievance cases were raised with the Department of Corrections in the 2005/06 financial year, and a woman sacked for bringing bacon to an inmate at Christchurch Men's Prison could be the next, says ACT National Security Spokesman, Heather Roy.

"In Parliament today the Minister of Corrections said he had confidence in his department - but it seems that he is the only one. Corrections Department employees certainly aren't confident, with so many personal grievance cases raised last year", Mrs Roy said.

"Figures received under the Official Information Act show 62 personal grievance cases were raised with the Department of Corrections in the 2005/06 financial year, costing taxpayers $213,478.

"More than $161,000 of that was spent on legal costs to keep the cases out of court, and $51,500 in compensation.

"According to media reports, Corrections staff are being told that 'when there's two of us and 60 of them, do whatever to keep them happy'. These personal grievance figures show that staff who feel intimidated by inmates are far from happy.

"The 'bacon lady', who was fired in July, is just the tip of the iceberg. The Corrections Department seems to treat its own staff more harshly than criminals.

"Prisons are difficult places to work, and employees deserve the support of their department and their Minister. It seems that changes to the department's culture are urgently needed", Mrs Roy said.

ENDS

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