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Three reports connected with Fight Club report released

News Release

For Immediate Release

08 November 2016

Three reports connected with Fight Club report released

Please attribute to Chief Executive Ray Smith

Today I am releasing three reports which were referred to in the Chief Inspector's Report into circumstances surrounding organised prisoner on prisoner fighting (Fight Clubs).

The three reports are:

• 2009 Professional Standards Unit report into fight clubs at Old Mt Eden Prison

• 2014 Special Monitor’s Investigation into allegations of prisoners being forced to take part in fighting at Mt Eden Corrections Facility

• 2015 Audit Committee review into the handling of the Special Monitor’s Report

The Chief Inspector's Report was released on 6 October 2016. In the interests of transparency, I have decided to pro-actively release these three other reports with necessary redactions.

2009 Professional Standards Unit report into fight clubs at Old Mt Eden Prison

The 2009 Professional Standards Unit report looked at the issue of prisoners fighting at old Mt Eden Prison. This prison was under the control of Corrections in 2009 and was decommissioned in 2011.

The report found it was more likely than not that prisoners were involved in fights in old Mt Eden Prison. Following the report, the prison management took action to reduce assaults and other violence in the remand areas of the prison.

2014 Special Monitor’s Investigation

The 2014 Special Monitor’s Investigation found that fight clubs at MECF existed, although there was no evidence of staff involvement.

The investigation made a number of recommendations, including that:

• staffing levels are sufficient to provide continuous supervision

• all unexplained prisoner injuries are treated promptly

• incident reports are categorised correctly and appropriate follow up action occurred

• segregated prisoners are afforded the required protection

Corrections’ National Commissioner was concerned about the evidential basis of the Special Monitors Report at the time, which led to the report not being finalised, escalated or formally notified to Serco.

In response to an escalation in the number of violent events, Serco had commissioned an operational review of incidents of violence within MECF during April and May 2013.

Serco put in place a number of initiatives to address issues of general violence at the prison, such as the Violence Reduction and Safer Custody strategy.

2015 Audit Committee review

In 2015, at my request, two independent members of the Audit and Risk Committee subsequently reviewed the handling of the Special Monitor’s report.

The Audit and Risk Committee members found that the report should have been finalised, and formally provided to Serco and myself.

Following the Audit and Risk members’ review, I made clear my expectations on the handling of the report, and similar reports in the future.

The review recommended that an agreed process should be implemented within Corrections to manage operational reviews, and to provide visibility of these to the Executive Leadership Team, from initiation to completion.

Since then, the ‘Actions Tracker Project’ has commenced. This project will implement an electronic solution to tracking audits, reviews and investigations in early 2017.





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