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Eye to Eye - Corruption in our prisons

Eye to Eye - Corruption in our prisons

Corruption in our prisons: Eye to Eye explores allegations of bribery and threats against prison officers and looks at how efficiently New Zealand’s prisons are being run.

TV Current Affairs host Willie Jackson investigates the climate of corruption permeating New Zealand jails on Eye to Eye (Saturday TV1 9.30am).

Guests for the show include Beven Hanlon from the Union for Corrections Officers, NZ First MP Ron Mark, Maori Party MP Hone Harawira and Former Corrections Minister Matt Robson.

Beven Hanlon believes the suspension of 11 Rimutaka officers and the eleven month investigation and subsequent sacking of a long serving Maori prison guard is indicative of a service struggling to cope with a lack of experienced staff and management.

“Come elections time, jails are ‘easy points’ for politicians and with every change of government the department’s policies and priorities also change and prisons don’t have the opportunity to make them work”, says Hanlon.

Also fronting up is the former Minister of Corrections Matt Robson. He believes managing the exponential increase of inmates at Rimutaka is one of the problems.

“The solution for the government is in addressing the rapid numbers entering prisons through earlier intervention”, says Robson.

NZ First MP Ron Mark says one of the problems is that the current Minister of Corrections Damien O’Connor, who alongside Corrections CEO Barry Matthews was not available to appear on the show to defend his department, has inherited a poisoned chalice that bounced from hand to hand.

“Damien’s a nice guy. Sometimes you don’t want a nice guy, sometimes you want a son of a bitch”, Mark states.

Outspoken Maori Party MP Hone Harawira says the government is spending too much money making bad decisions.

“Corruption and bribery is wherever men are treated like animals – you can’t change corruption in pent up guys. You have to change the nature of the criminal system”, says Harawira.

Eye to Eye with Willie Jackson provides another stimulating half hour of robust and intelligent debate on issues that affect all New Zealanders.

Eye to Eye with Willie Jackson, TV1, Saturday 0930am

ENDS

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