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Crims BBQ ‘reward’ proposal another disgrace

Simon Power MP
National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

4 January 2008

Crims BBQ ‘reward’ proposal another disgrace

The Corrections Department continues to be mired in controversy as it demonstrates yet again how out of touch it is with New Zealanders’ views on the prison system, says National’s Justice and Corrections spokesman, Simon Power.

Mr Power says taxpayers will be horrified to learn that prisoners at Northland’s Ngawha Prison were to have been hosted at a holiday barbecue by the Corrections Department, which claimed the gesture was a ‘goodwill activity for prisoners’.

“It is not surprising the plan was ditched,” says Mr Power.

“The inmates who were to benefit from this largesse include those who had reportedly been involved in incidents like assaults on other prisoners, throwing boiling water on prison guards, setting cells on fire, and possessing contraband.

“What is equally disturbing is that this ‘goodwill activity’ would probably have gone ahead if if it hadn’t been exposed by the media.”

Mr Power says this revelation is simply more bad news for the beleaguered Corrections Department.

“We are still awaiting the Patten report into alleged corruption amongst prison guards at Rimutaka and now we are seeing inmates incentivised for bad behaviour. What next?”

ENDS

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