6 comments on “How hard can it be to kill yourself? Just try that in prison.

  1. Love your “That’s typical spin from one of the Department’s leading spinsters” statement. 150% accurate. Corrections simply don’t care about health of inmates although their spin doctors will deny that. Policy under Ray Smith is (1) we don’t make mistakes (2) when we do (make mistakes) always blame the prisoner.

    Health service in prisons is a joke and you will have seen that first hand down at Rimutaka. In addition to suicides we also have a large cohort of inmates over the age of 60 (some in their 80s) many of whom will ultimately die in prison with the help of Jeanette “spinster” Burns and her minions.


  2. Roger,
    Thank you for posting this. My son was one of the 8 prisoners who died of unnatural cause, while in Corrections custody last July. Will things ever change, I wonder. It seems to me that Corrections have no compassion for prisoners, whom, once incarcerated, are vulnerable. I am frustrated beyond words.


    • Linda Smart. very sorry to hear of your sons death. If you are wanting some support with any aspect regarding his death look up a face book page.. Death in Custody, and ask to be a member. It can be a very long and lonely journey, and support is available if you wish.


      • Thank you Susan, My heart goes out to your family. Thank you for your support and I will have a look at the F/B page. We now have an inquest date this November, and while I am sure faults will be found, I fear that nothing will change for those in such despair in the future.


  3. Roger, well done on yet another well written blog.
    My brother was incarcerated in 2010. He died by suicide after being in the remand wing for 1 week.

    As the Coroner so aptly said in regard to my brothers death “in making judgement one must take all aspects into account”.
    Statistics show prisoners on remand are more likely to self harm/suicide, but do Corrections take more precautions because of these statistics? seemingly not.
    In fact in my brothers case Corrections staff seemed to go out of their way to make suicide easy.

    1.. Corrections did not follow their own protocols when a family member phoned and stated she was concerned for his mental health. The call was not recorded nor was the family member able to talk to nursing staff. Two protocols not followed!

    2… Corrections did not get all medical notes before they decided to change his medications. The prison notes show he was concerned about the medications being changed, however this was seen as being ‘a drug seeker’.

    3…Corrections left him with the means to be able to commit suicide, in this case a sling for a severe arm injury.
    4.. Corrections change his pain medications so much he is in extreme pain, and when the Dr agrees to reinstate previous pain management, the Nursing staff do not deliver it.

    5..Nursing staff use wrong charts to measure drug and/or alcohol withdrawal.

    6.. When my brother was found the ‘break, break’ was called, notifying other staff their was a suicide attempt and or death. The nurse that attended forgot to collect the defibrillator on her way to attend to him.

    The inquest was held a year after my brother died. The Coroner in his findings, was very critical of Corrections. He found that a family member had indeed phoned (Corrections had denied the phone call was received), therefore ‘intelligence’ was not gathered.
    The Coroner found sub optimal health care.

    As a family we have complained to the Doctors Medical Council, the Nursing Council, Police, the Health and Disability Council. Nearly 5 years on we are still waiting for the name of the Nurse who failed to deliver medications.
    We have uncovered lies and cover ups, false record keeping and one nurse lied and provided false written information at the Inquest.

    Do I think Corrections have learned any lessons over my brothers death? NO.

    Corrections blanket statement ” It is very difficult to stop a prisoner committing suicide, if they are wanting to.”

    I say Corrections made it very easy for my brother to commit suicide. In fact they drove him to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Condolences to Linda and Susan. You are both correct. Corrections under Ray Smith do not care a less about prisoner welfare and when anything goes wrong it is always the prisoner’s fault especially when it is obviously the fault of his department.


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