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Prisoners suffering 'degrading' treatment

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/12/2016
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Prisoners have been subjected to degrading treatment, including being filmed while strip-searched, not allowed their hour of fresh air and sleeping in unacceptable conditions in New Zealand.

Inspectors from the ombudsman's office made unannounced visits to Arohata, Manawatu and Invercargill Prisons and Otago Corrections Facility in 2015, where they discovered the treatment.

One prisoner was kept in handcuffs for more than 21 hours a day and restrained from the waist down, according to the ombudsman's report on the inspections.

Some female prisoners reported they were filmed while being strip-searched, while some inmates said they felt unsafe and were being bullied and victimised by other prisoners.

Other findings included drinking discoloured tap water, and wearing dirty clothes.

The Corrections Department says it is committed to managing all prisoners in a safe secure, humane and effective manner.

However, it has rejected some of the reports' recommendations citing safety as a number one priority over privacy.

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