Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Prisoner health survey fails to address big issues

Simon Power MP
National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

19 December 2006

Prisoner health survey fails to address big issues

A survey of the health of prisoners, released today, fails to address the big issues of drug use and mental health, according to National’s Justice & Corrections spokesman, Simon Power.

“The 2005 survey asks only about illicit drug use before entering prison, when the real challenge is to stop inmates using while they’re behind bars.”

The survey finds that one in ten prisoners reported using needles in prison, but this included piercing and tattooing, as well as for injecting drugs.

“And, despite some useful findings about the incidence of head injuries among prisoners, there seems to be very little emphasis on mental health issues.

“Even the report’s authors admit it is ‘limited in providing information about mental illness, alcohol and drug use, problem gambling, and disability among prisoners’.

“The report’s summary of previous research notes the prevalence of drug use and mental illness among prisoners, but since these earlier studies are more than five years’ old, the absence of similar questions in the 2005 survey is a huge missed opportunity.

“It’s also pretty poor policy co-ordination when, in recent months, the Government has announced it is ‘placing a strong emphasis on the development of alcohol and other drug treatment services for offenders, both in prison and in the community’.

“That is difficult to do when they don’t know the scale of current drug use among the prison population.

“The lack of emphasis on mental health in the survey is also startling at a time when this issue is gaining more prominence.”

Mr Power is also questioning why the survey has been released just one week before Christmas – when all the data had been collected by December last year.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election