TV3’s interview with prisoner Arthur Taylor once again highlights a worrying lack of transparency around our prison system, which the National Government has refused to open up to proper independent scrutiny, the Green Party said today.
In an interview with TV3’s The Nation, prisoner Arthur Taylor claimed that many New Zealand prisons are still controlled by gangs, and that contraband like cellphones and cigarettes are regularly being smuggled in.
“These are serious allegations, but without independent oversight New Zealanders are simply left to ask whether they believe Arthur Taylor or the Department of Corrections,” said Green Party Corrections spokesperson David Clendon.
“TV interviews with prisoners should not be our primary source of independent information about what is going on inside our prisons.
“The Department of Corrections is currently left to investigate the majority of complaints put against them which, given their track record, is clearly not a functional policy.
“Our prison system is in desperate need of an Independent Prison Inspectorate to take up public and prisoner initiated complaints against Corrections, free of politics and conflicts of interest,” said Mr Clendon