Archive for July, 2009

Prisoner numbers to hit new high

Posted in Articles on July 13, 2009 by cosgoingwrong

Prisoners in New Zealand are about to reach new highs — the number of people in prison is set to be the highest ever.

Corrections Minister Judith Collins said the previous peak was 8457 prisoners in September 2007.

Yesterday there were 8434 people in prisons or police stations.

“Within the next couple of weeks it’s likely that we will have more people behind bars than at any other time in New Zealand’s history.”

Strong prison population growth began in 2003 and was forecast to rise to around 10,700 by 2016.

There was pressure on the corrections system to find enough beds before it runs out in February, Ms Collins said.

Turning modular or container cells into prisons and double bunking were being used to help manage the “serious capacity crisis” in the short term.

Extending existing prisons and building new prisons were longer term options, Ms Collins said.



Prison operator responsible for inmate’s death, coroner finds

Posted in Articles on July 11, 2009 by cosgoingwrong

A Victorian coroner has found that private prison operator GSL contributed to the death of an inmate who died of an asthma attack after pressing a prison intercom button that did not work.

Ian Westcott, 50, a remand prisoner at Port Phillip Prison, was found dead in his cell on November 26, 2005.

On a desk in his cell, police found a note in his handwriting.

“Asthma attack. Buzzed for help. No response,” he had written.

Coroner Audrey Jamieson today said there was a direct correlation between the intercom failure and Mr Westcott’s death, which she said was preventable. Continue reading

Prison guards discover possible escape tunnel

Posted in Uncategorized on July 11, 2009 by cosgoingwrong

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina prison officials have discovered a hole dug by inmates at a maximum security prison that might have been part of an escape plan.

Spokesman Josh Gelinas said Wednesday authorities were tipped off by an inmate about the hole that had been dug through the concrete floor of a building at Lieber Correctional Institution at Ridgeville in an inmate work area.

Authorities are still investigating, but Gelinas says they don’t think the hole extends outside the wall of the building or beyond any security fences.

Gelinas says an inmate authorities think was digging the hole has been placed in solitary confinement.

Inmates on South Carolina’s death row are housed at Lieber but not in the same area where the hole was discovered.


2 guards allege gender bias in prison promotions

Posted in Articles on July 11, 2009 by cosgoingwrong

A male city correctional officer who averaged 35 sick days a year got promoted.

So did one who had been arrested for assault, drunk driving, drug offenses and burglary.

So when Renee Johnson and Jill Toomer, city correctional officers with a combined 39 years of prison experience, got passed over for promotion in 2002, they got angry.

Both filed complaints against the Philadelphia Prisons System with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, alleging racial and gender discrimination. They pleaded their cases yesterday before a hearing examiner at the commission’s Center City office.

A decision could take months. Continue reading