Recommended NZ | Guide to Money | Gimme: Competitions - Giveaways

Power: Minister Must Explain Why Waist Restraints Rules Are Ignored

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Power: Minister Must Explain Why Waist Restraints Rules Are Ignored

21 July 2008 - The Corrections Minister must explain why his department is allowing rules on the use of waist restraints on prisoners to be ignored, says National's Justice & Corrections spokesman, Simon Power.

He is commenting after the man who killed Liam Ashley in the back of a prison van in 2006 attacked a guard with a makeshift knife and tried to take him hostage while being transported without a waist restraint.

"Reports that the rules were ignored and that this prisoner was allowed to travel without a restraint are very concerning.

"And indications from the prison guards' union are that this is not an isolated incident.

"It was because this very prisoner killed Liam Ashley that waist restraints were introduced in the first place, and now we find he is able to attack and injure a guard because someone decided he didn't have to wear one.

"This has all the makings of yet another Corrections bungle that could have resulted in yet another tragedy.

"Only two weeks ago, Corrections CEO Barry Matthews admitted to a parliamentary select committee that some prisoners had been able to slip their restraint over their head, and answers to written questions confirm this has happened on six occasions.

"These restraints were introduced, at a cost of $218,000, to prevent a repeat of the Liam Ashley tragedy, and we were assured they would work.

"But it seems that not only are prisoners slipping out of the restraints, they are not being used when they are meant to be.

"This guard was lucky but someone else may not be so lucky next time.

"Corrections Minister Phil Goff must explain what is going on."

All articles and comments on have been submitted by our community of users. Please notify us if you believe an item on this site breaches our community guidelines.