New concerns about human rights in New Zealand prisons

The Corrections Department is trying to spruce up its image and has added some new pages to its website.  One of those pages is called: Human rights in NZ prisons.  In the first line under this heading, the Department makes this observation: “We make sure that prisoners in New Zealand are contained humanely.”

Bearing in mind that the suicide rate in New Zealand prisons is 11 times higher than the rate in the community, that’s a very dubious statement – one  which is contradicted by almost every posting on this blog.

The Department goes on to say: “We operate in accordance with the Corrections Act 2004 and Corrections Regulations 2005. The Sentencing Act 2002 and the Parole Act 2002 also have particular relevance to our operations.”

Although the new page on Corrctions website is supposedly about the human rights of prisoners, it doesn’t even mention the New Zealand Bill of Rights or the Human Rights Act . How can the Corrections Department seriously expect anyone to believe it is in the least bit concerned about human rights and the safe containment of prisoners when it doesn’t even acknowledge these two fundamental pieces of legislation have any bearing on its operations?

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