Within 2 hours of the reported assault, Prison Director Langley had decided inmates were 100% to blame and deserving of punishment.
But is that necessarily the case? Many factors can contribute to violence in prison. Police have commenced an investigation into this instant.
What we do know is that Auckland Prison has a history of abusing inmates. In Ombudsman Ron Paterson’s 2016 Investigation into Prisoner’s Right To Exercise at Auckland Prison, Prof. Paterson said at para33
“..prison management seem incapable of ensuring that the prison’s regimes afford prisoners their statutory right to one hour [per day] exercise in the open air , weather permitting.”
In future, police investigations should be allowed to be completed before Corrections Managers like Mr Langley issue the department’s “boilerplate” press release which demonises ALL prisoners . i.e.
“Our staff manage some of New Zealand’s most dangerous people in a complex and challenging environment. No assault or violent behaviour is tolerated, and any prisoner who resorts to this behaviour is held to account. Our staff do an incredible job in some very challenging circumstances in order to keep New Zealanders safe”
Arthur Taylor is TDBs Prisoner Rights blogger currently inside prison.