Failure of State Prison Service

Two prisoners have escaped from state run Waikeria Prison:

Police have named two prisoners who escaped from Waikeria Prison early this morning.

They are Jesse Lee Ibell, 24 and Wayne Holmes, 23.

Police confirmed this afternoon that the two men had indeed left the prison’s grounds, after having confirmed sightings from the public that the men had been seen in the Hauraki Plains are this morning.

General Manager Prison Services Jeanette Burns confirmed two prisoners breached security and escaped from their cell in the early hours of this morning. The prisoners broke out of a unit that will be closed in April next year.

Detective Sergeant Ross Patterson of the Te Awamutu CIB said police were contacted shortly after 2am today about two Waikeria Prison inmates who were unaccounted for.

At first they thought the inmates could still be on the prison grounds. Just the other day the media was full of outrage because a prisoner managed to go missing for 30 minutes from Auckland Remand where Serco runs the prison. This was claimed to be a failure private prison system.

At least there is the possibility for a fine of $150,000 against Serco is they were at fault. WHat sanctions will there be regarding the escapes from Waikeria?

Will Corrections have calls for their axing of management of Waikeria Prison by the media?

If the PSA and Corrections Union claims that an escape is a failure of a private contract then surely a double escape from a state run prison is likewise a failure of the state system.



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  • hang him

    Fine the Union $150 000 for each escape

  • Gazzaw

    I noticed that TV One were very quick off the mark with the 30 minute “escape” while on a hospital visit. Second story of the night complete with a 12 month history of Serco’s failures. Read somewhat smugly by ‘Pinko Pete’ Williams. We also had an intervierw with an even more smug prison guard union boss bemoaning the repeated failures of the private sector. Very little coverage I note of the extended escape of two violent prisoners right from the heart of Waikeria prison. Why am I not surprised?  

  • Gblack

    The silence from the media is deafening

  • Mediaan

    Far as I know, Waikeria is loosely-run, as a soft prison, for young people we don’t want to dump into a tough prison. This means it is deliberately fairly open.

    I don’t think we can blame staff too much, in this setting. It’s their job to run it while giving some trust and responsibility to the young men, to help them develop.

    Talking of prison staff, let’s all spare a moment’s thought for the prison officer from Rimutaka Prison who is now lying in hospital in a serious state, after intervening to help a prisoner who was being beaten up. Good man, good thing you did, every wish for a safe recovery. We are proud of your action.

  • person

    As a person who knows one of them, what they say about him bein violent is wrong. He is not violent. He is a good person

    • Patrick

       No doubt he was framed by the fuzz?

    • Jester

      Yep welcome to NZ. We only put “good” people in prison.