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Rimutaka prisoners passing out in unventilated cells

Extreme temperatures in the container cells in Rimutaka Prison have led to numerous calls from prisoners and their whanau to the Howard League. The cells are very small for two men and only have little holes in them to get air in.

Corrections are addressing the problem with ice water and hand held fans for the prisoners. We also understand that they are going to bring in more staff so that the prisoners in these cells can have longer unlock hours. This has not happened as yet. Corrections are currently looking into this Health and Safety issue across all prisons, which is pleasing.

However, the Howard League asks for immediate action to install air-conditioning in the Rimutaka container cells. Howard League spokesperson, Madeleine Rose says that at the very least prisoners with heart conditions, elderly or infirm must be immediately removed from these cells. Air-conditioning units must be installed immediately. This is a serious health and safety issue and “the last thing we want is an avoidable death from these conditions”, says Rose.

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