Prison in lockdown after outbreak of violence

The country’s highest security prison will stay in lockdown today and possibly tomorrow until all inmates and cells have been searched for hidden weapons.

Prisoners were locked in their cells at Auckland Prison at Paremoremo after an outbreak of violence yesterday when four prisoners were stabbed.

Two of the injured prisoners were taken to hospital. One was discharged yesterday and the other was likely to be discharged today. Two were treated by medical staff at the prison.

Today prison staff met with prison management, saying they needed more power to search inmates and cells to find the sort of makeshift weapons used in yesterday’s attack.

Beven Hanlon from a prison guards union, the Corrections Association, said today Paremoremo managers had agreed to keep prisoners in their cells until all cells and inmates had been searched.

“That is going to make the prison a lot safer for both prisoners and staff.”

He said several other routines would be introduced when the lockdown ended but he would not elaborate.

The search of prisoners and cells was likely to take most of today, Mr Hanlon said.

He said there may also be permanent changes on times prisoners were allowed out of their cells for exercise so they were not all out at once.

“They were getting lots of time out together and were stabbing each other and were stabbing staff.”

He said weapons were made from cutlery, bones, toothbrushes and parts of window frames which they worked off over a period.



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