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Turner warns of lockdown danger

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Turner warns of lockdown danger

UnitedFuture deputy leader Judy Turner today called on the government to increase urgently the number of prison guards as more and more jails start early lockdowns of prisoners.

“I believe these lockdowns are motivated not by budget overruns but by a concern that an overtime culture is developing among prison staff,” she said.

“We must listen to concerns expressed by New Zealand Prisoners’ aid – echoed by the prison chaplaincy – that extending lockdown is going to increase the risk of breakdowns in security and good order.

“When you look at estimates of the high number of inmates with addiction and mental health problems, long periods of isolation are hardly conducive to creating a climate of rehabilitation.

“Some of the prisons targeted for these additional hours of lockdown already have at least one day a week where additional lockdown hours are the norm.

It is unclear whether these new measures are going to taske this ino account otr whether on those days inmates will be locked down from midday till 8am the next day,” said Mrs Turner.

ENDS

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