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

 


Bring in Independent Prison Monitoring Boards

Arthur Taylor may be tip of iceberg – bring in Independent Prison Monitoring Boards

The regularity with which prisoner Arthur Taylor’s complaints have been found to have been justified, has led Rethinking Crime and Punishment to call for the establishment of Independent Prison Monitoring Boards to be established at each prison. Spokesperson Kim Workman said there is growing concern that Prison Managers are not abiding with the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, which bring together international consensus about what is considered good principle and practice in the treatment of prisoners and the management of institutions.

“The growing view is that the treatment of Arthur Taylor is the tip of the iceberg. We consider there is an increased role for civil society in prisons, and that the establishment of Independent Monitoring Boards at each prison can mitigate the ‘power and control’ culture, which leads to an increase in lockdown hours, and the poor treatment of prisoners.”

“The value of volunteers or external independent observers is widely recognised and has led to the establishment of Visitor Panels [VPs] or Independent Monitoring Boards [IMBs] in most Commonwealth countries. Independent Monitoring Boards (IBM’s) are made up of ordinary members of the public who volunteer 2-3 days per month, to monitor daily life in a local prison. They have unrestricted 24/7 access, and ensure that proper standards of care are maintained. They can talk to any prisoner they wish, if necessary out of hearing of prison officers. They play an important role in dealing with problems inside the prison. If a prisoner or detainee has an issue that he or she has been unable to resolve through the usual internal channels, he or she can put in a confidential request to see a member of the IMB. Problems might include concerns over lost property, visits from family or friends, special religious or cultural requirements, or even serious allegations such as bullying.

“When Baroness Vivien Stern visited New Zealand in 2012, she told Parliamentarians that IMBs have done more than any prison management regime or Government plan to improve the quality of life for prisoners and the working environment for staff,” said Mr Workman. “The principal value of independent volunteers is that they bring the general values of the community into prison and represent the community in whose name punishment is meted out. They are the indicators for societal normality and a reference point for those removed from society for a long time.”

“Research shows that where there is a concentration of volunteers moving in and out of a prison, there is an absence of violence and corruption. Volunteers serve to stabilize the prison environment – prisoners welcome visitors as “people who care”, and their response to volunteers is generally courteous and positive. The negative behaviour associated with the prison culture is put on hold.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Two Years With New Methods: Crime Stats Show Increase Led By Burglary

The two years of data show an increase in the total victimisation rate of 3.1 per cent, with 12,060 more victimisations in the 2015/16 year when compared to 2014/15 year. From this increase, 72 per cent is attributable to burglaries. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Relocation Grants: 12 Grants Paid So Far

Since the policy took effect one month ago, 12 applicants have received the non-recoverable grant, supporting 32 people. $54,508 has been paid out, covering things like moving costs, bond, rent in advance and letting fees. More>>

ALSO:

Vaccine Funding Change: HPV Vaccines For All Children

PHARMAC has today announced changes to funded vaccines, which will benefit an extra 100,000 people... The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available for all children and adults up to the age of 26 years, and boys will now be included in the HPV school vaccination programme. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why The Opinion Polls For Key And Trump Defy Gravity

What is going on? Donald Trump got confirmed as the Republican presidential candidate at a bizarrely chaotic political convention… and promptly received an upwards bump in the polls to where he’s now rating ahead of Hillary Clinton, for only the second time this year. More>>

Sugar: Auckland Leisure Centres Axe Unhealthy Drinks

Auckland Council is to stop selling drinks that are sweetened by sugar from vending machines at its leisure centres in a bid to try to reduce obesity and type 2 diabetes... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Todd McClay’s Faulty Memory

Time and again, whenever an issue arises the initial response by government is to deny or diminish the problem – nothing to worry about here, everything’s OK, move on. Then, hang on. In line with the usual pattern, as embarrassing details emerged into daylight, the story changed. More>>

ALSO:

Labour's 'Future Of Work': Major Reform Of Careers And Apprenticeships

The next Labour Government will transform careers advice in high schools to ensure every student has a personalised career plan, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

State Investments Management: Treasury Likes IRD, Not Education Or Corrections

The Inland Revenue Department has scored an 'A' in the first tranche of the Treasury's investor confidence rating for state agencies that manage significant Crown investments and assets, gaining greater autonomy as a result, while the Corrections and Education ministries gained a 'C' rating. More>>

ALSO:

Govt Goal: NZ To Be "Predator Free" By 2050

Prime Minister John Key has today announced the Government has adopted the goal of New Zealand becoming Predator Free by 2050... “That’s why we have adopted this goal. Our ambition is that by 2050 every single part of New Zealand will be completely free of rats, stoats and possums." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news