THE CORONER may have found a way to drastically reduce the country’s high prison suicide rate – but whether Corrections moves on his recommendations remains to be seen.
More prisoners are killing themselves than ever before with the suicide rate in New Zealand prisons now around 11 times higher than in the general population.
In the past five years alone there have been 31 suicides and at least a further 100 failed attempts at prisons around the country.
The suicides were spread among 14 prisons with seven – or 20 percent –carried out at Christchurch Men’s Prison, five at Rimutaka Prison, and three each at Auckland Prison, Northland Region Corrections Facility, Waikeria Prison and Whanganui Prison.
Bradley Steven Twidle is one of those 31 inmates who committed suicide while in the official custody and care of Corrections. He took his own life in December 2013 after asking to be segregated from a man who had been convicted of sexually assaulting him.
A police investigation into Twidle’s death found that he’d worked in the prison laundry, where he was considered a good worker, on the morning of December 6, 2013.
However, when a prison worker came to his cell to get him to work he’d appeared “slightly distracted” and was twice asked to get moving. Read more »