Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis has done nothing to prioritise the wellbeing of frontline corrections officers facing an increasing number of assaults from prisoners, National’s Corrections spokesperson Simeon Brown says.
“Under Mr Davis’ watch prisoner assaults on corrections officers have increased by 92 per cent. The Minister’s response to this alarming figure is to request monthly briefings from his officials.
“These monthly reports only list the next step to receive another monthly report.
“It’s clear things are getting worse for our prison officers, the time for action is now.
“Minister Davis has been quick announce reviews into the treatment of prisoners but has ignored calls from his own staff to prioritise their safety and implement changes so prisoners are held to account for assaulting corrections officers.
“Staff are sick and tired of seeing Mr Davis support and advocate for prisoners while ignoring corrections staff. Corrections staff have rightly had enough.
“The situation has become so dire that corrections officers have lost all confidence in Minister Davis to back them, with the Corrections Union proposing a symbolic vote of no confidence in him.
“New Zealand’s prison officers put their lives in danger every day to keep the rest of the country safe, they deserve a Minister who will stand up for them and support them.
“This widespread lack of confidence in a Minister should be a wakeup call for Mr Davis.
“The Corrections Union is prepared to walk the talk if Minister Davis doesn’t step up and address the increasing number of assaults on corrections officers.
“Unlike Mr Davis, a National Government wouldn’t sit by and do nothing while our prison officers suffered.”