Simple low-cost changes can lower prison suicides, but will they be implemented?

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 »

Knock me down with a feather, I agree with a newspaper editorial

A newspaper editorial  challenges our laws on suicide reporting.

News media in other free countries would be amazed at the restrictions on reporting deaths in New Zealand by suicide. For a long time it has been against the law to even call such a death by its name until after an inquest, usually months later, and even then only if the coroner permits. The most we may legally report at the time of the death is there are “no suspicious circumstances” or “police are not looking for anyone else”. Readers no doubt draw the right conclusion; circumlocution soon loses its point.

The euphemisms are ridiculous.

Not before time, Parliament is considering a bill to relax the restriction. If it is passed, it will become lawful to refer to a “suspected suicide” before an inquest is held. But in other ways the law is being tightened and one of them would restrict references to historical and overseas suicides. When a suicide bombing occurs overseas it may be illegal to report it in this country, according to Wellington lawyer Graeme Edgeler’s reading of the bill as it has emerged from a select committee.    Read more »


A tragedy? Sure. But I can’t help feel he dodged a bullet at the last minute


Still has some bugs to work out then

Normally losing your brand spanking new wife to suicide would be a tragedy, but I think this guy won the lottery

A newlywed wife whose husband complained she spent too much time on social media hanged herself after he confiscated her phone.

The woman, identified only as a 20-year-old named Aparna from the Kerala region, became upset following a row with her husband about her constant use of Facebook and WhatsApp. Read more »


New Zealand is a great place to die



If you’re on the way out, this is one of the best countries to do it in

New Zealand is the third best country in the world to die, a study has shown. …

Ireland and Belgium came fourth and fifth. The United States came in ninth while Canada came 11th. Iraq ranked bottom of the list.

New Zealand, the UK, and Australia took the same spots in 2010, when the first ever Quality of Death Index was released. …

The research looked at measures for the quality of the care and the supply of care relative to the demand. The demand was calculated by looking at both demographic trends and rates of heart diseases and the like, where palliative care is often needed.

New Zealand was not in the top group of nations in terms of supply and demand, but still had an “adequate” number of specialised palliative care workers. Read more »


Prisoner dies in Corrections run Auckland Prison


AN INMATE has been found dead at maximum-security Paremoremo Prison – and this time it’s on Corrections’ watch.

Just weeks after taking over the management of Mt Eden Corrections Facility from private company Serco following allegations of prisoner mistreatment, Corrections is now facing questions of its own after the suicide of an inmate at one of the prisons it runs.

The death is another black mark against the prison service, and further evidence that more needs to be done in the field of suicide prevention not only in private prisons but also in state-run ones as well.

In this latest case, prison guards found a member of the Headhunters gang, believed to be in his 30s, dead in his cell on the top landing of B block in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Prison sources say the man had hung himself.

It is understood the death has been referred to the Coroner and will also be subject to a review by the Corrections Inspectorate.

Both these steps are largely procedural and are unlikely to shed any light on the bigger questions, including why the man wasn’t flagged as a suicide risk by Corrections staff who are supposedly trained to pick up when an inmate is in serious emotional distress.   Read more »

Ten people a week kill themselves, and you don’t get to hear about it.

A Nelson woman, whose husband took his own life, is welcoming a government push to improve the way health boards tackle suicide.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said today health boards nationwide have plans in place to help them, in partnership with their local communities, prevent and respond to suicide.

City councillor Gaile Noonan said anything that increased discussion about what she said was a hidden epidemic, was a step in the right direction.

Dr Coleman said all DHBs had been working with community organisations, iwi and health professionals to review the needs of communities and services currently being provided. He said they had suicide prevention plans in place for the next two years.

“Reducing suicide rates requires coordinated action at a national and local level. DHBs are well placed to bring community groups together to coordinate and lead an approach that best meets local needs,” Dr Coleman said.

Today is Suicide Prevention Day.  Bit of a stupid name for it really.  Suicide Prevention Awareness Day would have been a bit better, because one day isn’t enough.   Read more »


Hackers and Media kill their first victim

As I said in an earlier post, Media exposure of people’s private information that was criminally obtained by Hackers is causing harm to people. Under our new online bullying law I questioned whether or not our MSM are actually breaking the law by causing harm online.

In America it appears that the Media working hand-in-glove with the hackers have caused one of their many victims to take his own life. This, of course, is very relevant to me personally as those behind the hack on Cameron actually discussed driving Cameron to suicide by applying ongoing pressure through the MSM and Social Media using his stolen private correspondence to do so.They wanted him stopped by any means possible.

According to the San Antonio Current, a city employee believed to have been exposed as part of the Ashley Madison account leak has since committed suicide.

Read more »

Developing: Inmate dies at Mt Eden – bad luck or going to plan?


The death is unsuspicious and has been referred to the coroner. Read more »


Hindsight, suicide and advice for those who have lost

by Stacey Bailey

“Hindsight, it’s a wonderful thing”. Everyone would love to have hindsight. If we had this – things would run smoothly, and life would be perfect right? But we don’t have hindsight. So, life isn’t perfect. I’m not sure it’s meant to be that way, anyway.

We don’t have our own hindsight – but the hindsight of others can teach us all so much. By that I mean, I can sit here and say to you – in hindsight I should have, could have, would have….. So let my hindsight help you. Take some advice from my story. My hindsight.

I’d always looked at families who had lost a loved one suddenly and tragically. My heart would always ache, just thinking about how they were actually going to cope with losing their loved one. Death is so final. Death is forever. So much has to change after death.

I always selfishly thought to myself, ‘I’m so glad it’s not me’ or ‘ I hope that never happens to me’. Because for me personally, I’d never lost anyone close. These things happened to other people not me, and that was the way I wanted it to stay.

Never did I think it would ever happen to me. But – It happened to me. It happened to my children. September 11, 2014.

“September 11”. How often have you heard that horrible date over the past 13 years? A day everyone will remember forever. September 11, 2001 – So many lives were lost, so many families destroyed, so much pain and heartache.

And now September 11, 2014. Another life lost. A father. A soulmate. An amazing friend. A handsome and talented man. Why? Because he couldn’t see a way out. He was unwell. So unwell, that he couldn’t see how much everyone loved him. People showed nothing but love and admiration for him, yet he couldn’t come back from this. He suffered in silence. Read more »


Suicide by cop

file image (not of incident)

file image (not of incident)

Police have shot and killed a man who confronted them with a firearm during Thames today.

Officers were called about midday to the scene “where there was a significant threat of violence”, police said in a statement tonight.

Police said they learned a firearm was involved and the Armed Offenders Squad and the Police Negotiation Team were deployed. Read more »