An ex-prisoner and his girlfriend attempting to treat their mates at Auckland Prison by smuggling sausages, meat and alcohol into the prison has triggered a chain of events leading to a number of prisoners facing misconduct charges and likely increases in their security classifications.
In addition, both the ex-prisoner and his girlfriend were arrested and charged with breaching the Corrections Act. The woman also faces charges of possession of cannabis.
“We have a staff member who lives nearby and on Tuesday evening he noticed a vehicle on a private road that runs alongside a low-medium security unit of the prison. The vehicle dropped off a passenger and left. The staff member notified the prison immediately, at the same time as internal fence alarms in the unit were activated and staff saw a prisoner pick up a bag and run into his cell,” says Auckland Prison Manager Neil Beales.
“While staff were responding to the situation inside the unit, other staff apprehended the man outside the prison and called Police. A description of the vehicle was given to Police and they subsequently arrested the female driver, and the man that had been detained at the prison.
“It’s through the vigilance and quick action of staff, on and off duty that led to staff going straight to the prisoner’s cell, so he had no chance to hide the bag. He was found dressed in a different outfit in an attempt to fool them. Two other prisoners was also in the cell and one was holding the bag which, surprisingly, contained sausages, other meat and alcohol.
“How the prisoners planned to cook the meat remains a mystery, but the barbeque was canned when the items were confiscated and the prisoners were told that they would be facing internal misconduct charges and security classification reviews.”
The incident also led to targeted searches in several cells that night, and a full search of the unit in the morning. Staff uncovered further contraband during the operation which saw another seven prisoners facing misconduct charges and security reclassification.
“Being housed in a low-medium security unit is a privilege afforded to prisoners with behaviour that warrants it. These prisoners have shown us they are not trustworthy, so will be moved out and housed elsewhere with a higher security regime and more restrictions. They may also lose their employment opportunities.” says Mr Beales.
“We put a lot of work into preventing contraband getting into the prison, however prisoners are devious and have ample time to think of new and innovative ways to try and get past our security operations. They also place a lot of pressure on friends and family to get items inside for them.
”Although there is a comical element to the situation, the reality is that this was a serious breach of our security. If a large quantity of drugs or a weapon had been thrown into the prison it could make things very dangerous for other prisoners, staff, and the public. Staff did an excellent job on the night apprehending those responsible, and also during search operations the next day.”
Notes to journalist
For further information contact the Communications Services Desk
Copyright © Department of Corrections | Feedback and queries email: email@example.com