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Prisoners partying on work programmes unacceptable

Simon Power MP
National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

1 September 2006

Prisoners partying on work programmes unacceptable

Corrections Minister Phil Goff must assure the public that breaches of release-to-work conditions are not rife throughout the prison system, says National’s Justice & Corrections spokesman, Simon Power.

He is commenting after reports that four prisoners at Hawke’s Bay Prison were allowed to visit private addresses to drink alcohol and one to see his girlfriend when they were supposed to be on a release-to-work programme.

“This looks like yet another Corrections blunder. They have taken their eye off the ball again.

“These prisoners are supposed to be working towards rehabilitating themselves for a life after prison, but instead they are enjoying a life that many law-abiding people will be finding it difficult to afford themselves at the moment.

“How will the victims of the crimes that these people committed feel when they hear what they have been up to while they’re meant to be in prison.

“Phil Goff, the sixth Minister of Corrections under this Government, must give an assurance that these prisoner excursions are not happening throughout the system, and that Corrections Assistant General Manager Bryan McMurray was wrong when he said ‘people don’t go to prison to be punished’.

“It’s clear that Corrections has to work a lot harder to do its job properly and ensure that public safety is its top priority.”


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