Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Positive prisoner drug tests lowest in years

Positive prisoner random drug tests lowest in eight years

The proportion of prisoners testing positive in general random drug tests is at the lowest level since testing began eight years ago, according to Department of Corrections figures.

In the nine months to March 2006, 15.6 percent of prisoners tested under the general random programme returned positive results, down from 17.4 percent in the preceding year.

This also compares with 34 percent when the first benchmark test was conducted in 1998 and 25.5 percent in 1999.

Corrections Chief Executive Barry Matthews said the steady decline in positive tests reflects increasing vigilance in preventing drugs getting into prisons and in managing prisoners who are known to be drug users.

Mr Matthews said some years had produced small upward fluctuations in positive drug tests, but the trend overall was very definitely downward.

“The trend is very pleasing considering the efforts people go to get drugs into prisons,” he said.

In the last three years, the number of illegal items confiscated from visitors to prisons more than doubled to 1509 in 2005. Around two-thirds of those items were drug-related.

While cannabis accounts for the vast majority of drug finds, there has been a rise in amphetamine-type drugs detected.

Mr Matthews said prison drug trends reflected society at large and it was only due to much more stringent contraband detection measures and the dedicated efforts of Corrections staff that drug use in prisons had declined.

“Surveillance at checkpoints has been stepped up with the use of drug dogs and television monitoring of visitor areas,” Mr Matthews said.

Since 2004, the number of drug dog teams has doubled and the Government last year allocated a further $4.1 million over four years for crime and drug detection within prisons.

“Despite risking imprisonment themselves, visitors remain determined to get drugs into prisons and it’s only our vigilance that is containing their use,” Mr Matthews said.


© 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