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Forget Inmates' Creature Comforts

Forget Inmates' Creature Comforts

David Garrett MP, ACT New Zealand
Tuesday, March 10 2009

The feelings and preferences of prisoners should not enter into any debate over the implementation of double-bunking - the practice of having two inmates share a cell – if this is the best way to provide the prison system with the extra 950 beds it will require over the next 18 months, ACT New Zealand Law & Order Spokesman David Garrett said today.

"Who cares if inmates don't want to be 'cooped up' together for long periods of time?  These criminals have lost the right to have their comforts considered," Mr Garrett said.

"This debate would not even be happening had the previous Labour Government adequately provided for the exploding incidence of crime that the country experienced under its watch.

"Given this huge increase in the number of inmates, the National Government must clearly consider all options – including double-bunking – until any new prisons come on-line.

"Such options should be based on cost-effectiveness and the safety of Kiwi families – not the creature comforts inmates have been treated to over the past nine years," Mr Garrett said.

"I am further interested to note Dr Greg Newbold's remarks about homosexual rape – an issue he is on record as saying has never been a major problem in New Zealand prisons.  Rape is a crime wherever it occurs, and can be dealt with in the same way as any other offence committed in prison.

"The fact is: if you don't want to be assaulted - or worse - by a cellmate, avoid prison by not committing a crime," Mr Garrett said.

ENDS

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