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New Zealand: alarming report uncovers several faults at Waikeria Prison

A new report into conditions at Waikeria Prison has found several faults - including long lock-up times, understaffing and a lack of a fence.

Each individual unit at the prison is fenced, but the overall site is not - which the report by the Office of the Inspectorate says makes security at the prison challenging and resource-intensive.

A wire prison fence. A wire prison fence. Photo credit: Newshub. A new report into conditions at Waikeria Prison has found several faults - including long lock-up times, understaffing and a lack of a fence.

Each individual unit at the prison is fenced, but the overall site is not - which the report by the Office of the Inspectorate says makes security at the prison challenging and resource-intensive.

Justice Minister Andrew Little: ‘What I saw in Waikeria Prison horrified me’ Government faces dilemma over run-down Waikeria Prison Andrew Little confirms decision on Waikeria within two weeks The prison was inspected between July 31 and August 4, 2017, and 28 prisoners were interviewed about their experiences in the prison.

Prisoners in the at-risk unit were found to have spent up to 22 hours of a day locked in their cells with little to engage them, and up to 26 hours at a time between their cell being unlocked.

One prisoner mentioned they had become fixated on self-harm during their time in the unit due to the lack of other activities to engage their mind.

Staffing levels at the prison were also low, and when staff from the inspectorate visited, many staff were still being trained and could not be rostered on to full hours.

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