Stand-alone health agency needed for Corrections

The Green Party is calling for a stand-alone agency to monitor and provide for prisoners’ health needs.

The call for a stand-alone agency comes after a Coroner’s report into the death of a remand prisoner, Jai Davis, at a South Otago jail in 2011.  The Coroner expressed concern that the health of the prisoner was not the main priority of Corrections.  

The Green Party is calling for a stand-alone agency to monitor and provide for prisoners’ health needs.

The call for a stand-alone agency comes after a Coroner’s report into the death of a remand prisoner, Jai Davis, at a South Otago jail in 2011.  The Coroner expressed concern that the health of the prisoner was not the main priority of Corrections.  

“When there is a concern regarding a prisoner’s health it is vital that this is dealt with in a humane manner by independent health professionals,” Green Party Corrections spokesperson David Clendon said today.

 

“The need to maintain security within Corrections facilities can and should be achieved in a way that does not compromise providing safe and humane care for prisoners.

 

“The primary concern of those dealing with prisoners’ health should be looking after their health needs rather than security.

 

“Currently those dealing with prisoners’ health are employed by Corrections, and all too often the situation arises whereby security concerns are trumping health concerns.

 

“It is vital there is some form of separation.

 

“Health professionals employed via a stand-alone agency will be able to make prisoners’ health their main priority.

 

“Until a stand-alone agency employs health professionals to work in Corrections there will be a risk of further tragedies.

 

“The Coroner’s report into the Jai Davis tragedy shows that the basic standards of the Corrections Act are not being met.

 

“A failure to meet even the minimum standards required by law puts at risk New Zealand’s status as a country where human rights are respected,” Mr Clendon said.

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