Government needs to address causes of prison riots

Thursday 6 June 2013, 11:01AM
By Green Party

The Spring Creek prison riot is the latest in a string of prison incidents that need urgent attention from the Corrections Minister, said the Green Party today.

"Spring Creek is not a stand-alone event. It is the latest in a string of riots and incidents in our prisons," said Green Party corrections spokesperson David Clendon.

"Prisons are becoming unsafe as a result of changes the Government has made. These changes have led to stress and higher levels of prisoner tension.

"The internal systems for dealing with complaints in prisons are failing. Prisoners and their families don't have an effective way to raise concerns about mistreatment.

"Policies such as double bunking and the smoking ban have also caused a lot of problems in the prisons.

"Prison riots should not be happening as frequently as they are in New Zealand. They are symptoms of a system that is in dysfunction.

"Prison riots are dangerous and damaging, and the Government needs to have a good look at why they are happening so often.

"The Corrections Minister needs to explain why riots are happening so often and what steps she is taking to stop them in the future.

"The Minister also needs to consider prison staff safety, which is being put at risk with such frequent riots. The Government's policies are putting prison staff in a very dangerous position."