Friday, July 13, 2007

New Zealand: Christchurch prison officer suspended

Christchurch prison officer suspended

A Christchurch Men's Prison officer has been suspended for alleged corruption – the fifth disciplined for smuggling contraband this year.
Prison Services South Island regional manager Paul Monk said he suspended the man this week amid allegations he helped people smuggle contraband into the prison.
The officer is the fifth from the Paparua Prison to be either suspended or dismissed for alleged corruption this year.
Monk said information on the man's alleged activities resulted from the prison's new intelligence systems.
The Crime Prevention Information Team was formed last year to dig out information on criminal activities in prison, including among staff, he said.
The team was set up after a spate of corruption allegations, including five Christchurch staff and four officers suspended on corruption allegations at Rimutaka Prison near Wellington this year.
Monk said the latest suspension showed the new team was working at "digging out the few bad eggs".
He denied there was a corruption problem in South Island prisons.
"While I have suspended or dismissed five officers for alleged corruption, we have over 800 dedicated, hard-working and honest Corrections Department officers ... in this region." At least 450 officers worked at Christchurch Men's Prison, Monk said.
National Party justice spokesman Simon Power said there was more corruption in prisons than the Government was willing to admit. Five staff from Christchurch Men's Prison had been caught for alleged corruption, without counting those the system had not detected, he said.

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