“Now why would anybody transfer anybody with severe injuries?”
The Minister of Corrections is unhappy an internal report on problems at the SERCO-run Mount Eden prison wasn’t bumped up the chain sooner.
Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has now asked Corrections to carry out a robust and thorough review of the incidents.
“He was in such bad shape that nearly immediately the guards at Ngawha transferred him to Whangarei Hospital where he subsequently passed away”.
It is believed Mr Davis was referring to a case in May, in which an unnamed, 25-year-old prisoner was reported to have died after contracting a superbug.
“These are not unusual for there to be incidents of violence in our prisons”.
Authorities are investigating claims an organised fight club exists in New Zealand’s Mt Eden prison. “He was dropped off the balcony, his lung was ruptured, but then he was transferred out of Mt Eden Correctional Facility and sent north to Ngawha”.
“I have also asked the chief executive of Corrections to widen the scope of this review to address other allegations related to violence and the use of cell phones in other prisons that have come to light recently”.
“People are dying because of Serco.
Full cooperation will be afforded to the Ombudsman’s investigator, who may also independently report on any matter concerning the incidents or its subsequent investigation”, Mr Lotu-Iiga said.
He said Mr Davis had politicised the deaths of the prisoner named Evans. “Today I am announcing the terms of reference for that review”, he said.
He went on: “I say to that member, put up some evidence or shut up”.
“Put up the evidence or shut up”, he told Mr Davis. Speaking on NewstalkZB this morning Mr Lotu-Iiga said he was “disappointed and really appalled” by what he had seen on the videos.
But Corrections has found itself in hot water after it emerged a report into allegations about organised brawls was carried out a year ago.
Addressing claims of understaffing, he said he had been given an undertaking that Mt Eden was “fully staffed”.
“But I say that with a caveat, we are dealing with some of the most risky, some of the most violent, some of the most hardest people in the community and that’s why there’s a high bar”, the minister told parliament. “Clearly from the images that were transmitted across this country last week, things need to improve”.
Mr Lotu-Liga is promising the review will look at all issues about violence in prisons, as well as what sort of contraband is being smuggled in, including cellphones and alcohol.
“This company [Serco] has been negligent at best”, Mr Davis told Parliament.