More dodgy deaths in non-Serco prisons, and not a peep from Kelvin

Where is Kelvin Davis when you need him?

It seems that there are criminals dying in non-Serco run prisons…the ones run by the Corrections Union and he is nowhere to be seen.

A total of 85 prisoners died while serving a prison sentence in New Zealand since 2010, while at least 100 others had their lives saved by staff.

Information released under the Official Information Act indicated that of these deaths, 38 were deemed unnatural and 47 were the result of a natural cause.

An unnatural death could include death as a result of self-harm, an accident, foul play, or a death where the cause was unable to be initially confirmed.

A natural death was the death of any prisoner in custody as a result of natural causes.

In Whanganui Prison, eight deaths were recorded as natural deaths from 2010 until 2015 with two unnatural deaths occurring in 2010 and 2011.

Manawatu Prison had two unnatural deaths occur in 2011 with no natural deaths occurring in the past five years.

Kelvin Davis called for Serco’s prions and the privatisation programme to be halted because of deaths in custody…even though he was wrong on that count. But his logic is that if there is an injury or a death then that is a sign something is wrong and so the prison should be shut down. But it seems that only applies to Serco run prisons.

Meanwhile some criminals have been saved by prison officers.

Information in the OIA cited prisoners had a higher risk of mental health disorders and illness than the general population.

Corrections Lower North regional commissioner Paul Tomlinson said in the past five years, 100 prisoners had their lives saved by prison staff.

“These prisoners were involved in self harm incidents where the individual would have been unlikely to survive without staff intervention.”

He said a number of initiatives had been started in prisons to help address mental health issues in prisoners.

These included mental health training for frontline staff and also providing a more therapeutic environment in the at risk units in the prisons.

“Prisoners undergo a number of checks and assessments for their mental health needs during their time in prison.

“These include mental health screening, drug and alcohol screening, and regular assessments to check if they are at risk of self harm or suicide.

“Custodial officers will refer prisoners to health they have concerns about their well being.”

Prison is a tough place for tough people, and sometimes things go wrong. Kelvin Davis does no one any service, especially his own party by grandstanding against one operator. If he truly cares about prisons and prisoners then he should abandon his silence and actually do something about all the other prisons. He won’t of course because he is the union puppet.


– Fairfax

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.