A former inmate at Waikeria Prison has denied allegations of poor prison conditions, claiming the presence of deported Australian gang members was a greater likely cause of the riot.
The prison was the site of a five-night stalemate in which prisoners lit several fires that destroyed the prison’s « supreme prison » facility.
Family members of the protesters said their complaints about the conditions in the prison were dismissed before the protest.
However, former inmate Stuff, with whom he was trying to remain anonymous, said he believed the most likely cause of the problems were Mongolians and members of the Comanchero gang, five of whom were deportees from Australia.
READ MORE: * Waikeria Prison Handover: Family members request complaints about « disgusting » conditions, although corrections say otherwise. * Waikeria prison protest: Māori council demands silence, asks politicians to resign. * Waikeria Prison: Minister of Corrections won. t intervene to negotiate a stalemate * Prisoner surrenders on the third day of the uprising when inmates ask the MP for help * Waikeria prison: inmates protest against conditions, lack of care
The man also denied claims that prisoners were kept in dirty clothes and had no access to water.
”Lots of crap. We have a closet, go downstairs, change your clothes. ”
He admitted that the tap water « s. . . But claimed prisoners were supplied with bottled drinking water, including bottles from a cooler, during the summer months.
National Corrections spokesman Simeon Brown told Stuff he wanted to launch an independent investigation into the rioting in the prison, including the role of deported Australian biker gang members.
« We cannot remain naive as a country in the face of increasing gang numbers, including the 501s, » he said.
Brown said he wanted each probe to get to the bottom of the cause of the disturbance and what plans have corrections to address such a scenario.
« Each of these prisoners should be interviewed independently, a big question, but if we want to know what went wrong, » he said.
He said access to water was a problem, as was prisoners who stay in their cells for too long.
« The employees didn’t do what they were supposed to do, the management covered it up, » he said.
Rotorua-based attorney Tim Braithwaite also supported claims that the prison was out of date and inoperable.
“Only a matter of time, when you keep people in cages, you treat them like animals. ”
Corrections Secretary Kelvin Davis was unable to respond to Stuff questions, but a spokesman said three reviews are in progress, one operational review by Corrections’ chief custodial officer, one independent chief inspector and one police investigation.
Kelvin Davis, riot, New Zealand, prisoner
World News – AU – Former inmate dumps allegations of bad conditions, blaming 501s for role in riot at Waikeria Prison
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