5 comments on “Ombudsman colludes with Corrections to cover up responsibility for ‘unnatural’ prison deaths

  1. Despite some past criticisims of Corrections the Ombudsman seems to becoming increasingly reluctant to deal with anything contraversial when it comes to the most dysfunctional of Government agencies – Corrections.

    It also seems that the outcome of many complaints to the Ombudsmen about Corrections is dependent upon who within that office deals with the “investigation”. One who is overtly pro Corrections and will side step an investigation if he can get away with it is Deputy Ombudsman Leo Donnelly, who frequently comes across as being pro Corrections. No doubt he is not alone.

    No longer is it a reasonable expectation that a complaint taken to the Ombudsman that has all the supporting evidence will be dealt with openly and with an honest outcome. With the passing of time and particularly under Dame Beverley’s leadership, investigation dedcisions have been heavily biased toward Corrections and defiant of an often overwhelming amount of evidence to the contrary.

    So no longer is the Ombudsman the independent body that it once was and has fallen under the Government’s control and agenda.


  2. Thank you Mr Brooking for having the tenacity to bring these matters to light in the absence of msm coverage. I have been appalled by your revelations, as have the people with whom I have shared your posts. This issue should be a national scandal. I guess some nurses have to graduate bottom of the class. It seems they are the ones who end up looking after our prison populations.
    Within the current political climate I am not at all surprised with the whitewashing nature of things. They happen on a regular basis; a foregone conclusion; predictive in their regularity. That the office of the Ombudsman has been tainted is no surprise.


  3. As a former independent prison ombudsman (Official Visitor in Queensland) I also am totally appalled at those authorities who have acted to cover up this death and who have failed to produce accurate reports. Clearly they are protecting “the system”. Something is deeply wrong in New Zealand if public officials behave this way. Something is deeply wrong if those responsible for the death and those responsible for the botched reporting can get away with it. In Queensland the Official Visitor program was established after a Royal Commission. I’d be happy to see a Royal Commission into Prisons in New Zealand.


  4. Richard Barriball also died in OCF about three months before Jai Davis. The Inspector who ‘investigated’ his death was Trevor Longmuir.

    Assuming someone from the Ombudsman’s office held Trevor’s hand as he wrote his report into Richard’s suicide, they must be as naive as a new born lamb, or just plain thick as a brick to have taken anything said by OCF medical staff as honest. If Longmuir had taken more than a cursory view of the medical records he would have noticed they were inaccurate, and paperwork unfinished and not signed. Perhaps that should come as no surprise considering that three months before Richard died, the two doctors contracted to OCF decided not to renew their contract, citing bad nursing practices as the reason. Once the Coroner David Crerar, held the inquest, he also commented on the shambolic paperwork.

    It appears that since Richard and Jai Davis died some degree of accountability has been initiated, but in 2010/2011 it appears no one was responsible for ensuring prisoners received medication, no one was responsible for ensuring notes/records were up to date. No one was responsible for returning unused medication to the pharmacy for destruction.

    One outcome of this could well be happy medical staff – we have documents showing 75ml of methadone and up to 400(approx) gabapentin tablets went missing, as well as controlled drug records that don’t make sense and contradict evidence given by the health centre manager at Richard’s inquest.

    I complained to the Nurses Council but as a death had occurred it was referred to the HDC. After 4 years the HDC have decided not to take any of my complaints (complete with evidence) any further, so it’s pretty safe to say the HDC is also afraid to ruffle Corrections feathers.

    The reason it has taken four years to get to this stage is because Corrections consistently stalls in providing information to me, making the whole process a lot more difficult and prolonged. If I was a cynic, I would say it was a deliberate tactic, but as I have been assured by Ann Tolley that “Corrections is an open, honest and transparent organisation”, I would be naive in taking that stance, wouldn’t I??


  5. The Office of the Ombudsman does seem to be have a culture of deference to, and support for, official positions.

    Subsequent to the Canterbury earthquakes the Ombudsman’s Office was slow to act over OIA criticisms of EQC and other agencies and had greater sympathy for the difficulties of officialdom than those desperately and urgently in need of information. From some time in 2011 the Office of the Ombudsman experienced increasingly difficult work loads with complaints and they themselves were slow to respond to their own problems. My recollection is that Dame Beverley didn’t approach the government for more assistance for their workload until 18 months or more after the problems arose. Not exactly proactive.

    How can the Office of the Ombudsman do “justice” to enquiries into deaths in custody like that of Jai Davis and complaints against agencies with their current culture and leadership?


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