Waikeria Prison

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 »

Why did they stop?

Surely they should have gone on a lovely long and leisurely drive in the countryside?

A prison van had to stop on the motorway south of Auckland this afternoon after a prisoner tried to harm himself.

The vehicle, which was on its way to Waikeria Prison in the Waikato, stopped on State Highway 1 near Bombay, with police and medics soon on the scene.  Read more »


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.