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Three wrongs don’t make a right

Three wrongs don’t make a right

A number of recent methamphetamine finds at Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility shows the corrosive influence the drug has on its users says Prison Manager Agnes Robertson.

“In late November we had a vehicle carrying a released prisoner enter the site. She was at the prison to pick up her property. Our staff searched the vehicle she arrived in and found a number of pipes, point bags and other drug paraphernalia. The driver of the vehicle claimed ownership and was arrested by Police and the ex-prisoner arranged another way home.”

“At the beginning of December we again had another released prisoner arrive at the site, in a vehicle driven by a male. This vehicle was also searched and in the driver’s bag was found syringes, methamphetamine residue, point bags and scales. In the woman’s bag there was a syringe and point bag containing residue. Both the woman and the male associate were detained by staff while Police were called.”

“While I don’t believe that in either of these situations there was an attempt to smuggle contraband inside, you have to be concerned at the women’s activities and the company they are keeping if they want to stay out of prison. A released prisoner knows better than any other visitor that drugs are not allowed on prison property, however I suspect taking risks like these are related to being addicted to the drug.”

In the last financial year, 11 percent of females imprisoned in New Zealand were specifically convicted for methamphetamine offences.

This figure excludes traffic, burglary or violent offences that were caused by the offender while on methamphetamine or crimes they committed to fund their addiction – leading to the conclusion that methamphetamine addiction is a key driver of why the female prisoner population has grown four-fold since the 1980’s.

Released prisoners choosing to resume drug taking is very disappointing says Mrs Robertson, however keeping the drugs out of the hands of current prisoners was the primary focus for the prison – to help other prisoners get clean from the substance, and to keep our staff safe.

“In mid- December, staff were processing incoming mail into the prison. Staff had suspicions about the prisoner and her mail was opened and checked. Among the newspaper, greeting card and magazines she had been sent staff found a point bag containing a crystal substance consistent with methamphetamine.”

“Drugs and weapons making their way into the hands of prisoners is dangerous for other prisoners, our staff and in rare cases, the public.”

“The message is clear to both prisoners attempting to get drugs sent in to them, members of the public sending them in and people arriving on site with drugs in their vehicles - we will find them, you will get caught and we will give them to Police.”


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