No Pride in Prisons Reveals Administrative Mismanagement
No Pride in Prisons Reveals Administrative Mismanagement of Transgender Prisoner
The activist group behind today’s hunger strike is releasing proof that the Department of Corrections hugely mismanaged Jade Follett’s transfer request.
In a letter to MP Jan Logie, Minister of Corrections Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga confirmed that the Department of Corrections received a transfer request from Follett on the 29th of June 2015:
“Both my officials and I read with concern that an earlier application had been made by Jade. Their enquiries with Jade have concluded that she handed a written request for consideration to be transferred to a women’s facility on 29 June 2015 to a Corrections Officer. This was in turn given to a Principal Corrections Officer who subsequently went on leave. I have been advised by my Corrections Officials that this letter does not appear to have been forwarded to prison management for processing. My officials are looking into this matter to understand how the process broke down. I expect them to implement some changes to strengthen the process as a result.”
No Pride in Prisons has publicly posted the full letter from Lotu-Iiga on their official Facebook page.
‘What this statement demonstrates is the institutional incompetence of our Department of Corrections‘, says No Pride In Prisons spokesperson Jennifer Katherine Shields. ‘Jade was allowed to remain in an unsafe situation for two months longer than necessary because the Department is failing to secure the safety of its prisoners.’
‘As well as this, the Department’s administrative failure has meant that Jade’s integrity has been put into question. Corrections knew that Jade had applied for transfer months ago, but only mentioned her recent reapplication in their statements to the press. This gave the impression that Jade was not telling the truth.’
No Pride In Prisons will be holding a public forum next Friday the 4th of September at the University of Auckland. The group will discuss the implications of Jade’s treatment in the context of broader institutional failings by the Department of Corrections, and develop a plan for further actions.