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Report reveals “appalling conditions” in Hawke’s Bay Prison

Press release - [06:00am 07/07/2017] - For Immediate Use
PRESS RELEASE: No Pride in Prisons

Report reveals “appalling conditions” in Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison

A report from the Office of the Ombudsman into Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison has revealed shocking conditions in one of New Zealand’s largest prisons.

The prison abolitionist organisation No Pride in Prisons says the report represents the Department of Corrections’ failure to meet basic standards of human rights for prisoners.

“The conditions described in the report are absolutely appalling,” says No Pride in Prisons spokesperson Emilie Rākete. “Corrections has shown, once again, that it has absolutely no regard for the safety and well-being of prisoners.”

“Prisoners considered at risk of self-harm are placed in “dry rooms” for days at a time. This is where prisoners are locked in cells with no toilet and nothing other than a mold-coated mattress.”

“Corrections treats some of the most vulnerable prisoners with nothing but indignity and disrespect,” says Rākete.

No Pride in Prisons is also critical of the treatment of prisoners on high security classification and on remand. “Corrections is basically encouraging violence by failing to provide these prisoners with meaningful activities.”

“Prisoners are being denied basic rights to fresh air, time out of their cages, decent food and quality healthcare.”

“Prisoners at Hawke’s Bay also report high levels of violence and victimisation. New Zealand prisons are toxic places where people are taught that violence is the only answer.”

The organisation says that the failures at Hawke’s Bay represent the wider failures of the New Zealand prison system.

“Prisons will always fail to keep communities safe. As long as people are treated like animals, they will not be able to achieve the rehabilitation needed to stop cycles of harmful behaviour.”


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