The privately run prison in Mt Eden, Auckland, is the subject of a damning report.
The privately run prison in Mt Eden, Auckland, is the subject of a damning report.

Fight clubs formed in NZ prison

FIGHT clubs occurred at least weekly at the Serco-run Mt Eden Correctional Facility in New Zealand, a report has found.

British company Serco's failings at Mt Eden Correctional Facility have been laid bare in the damning report, which reveals weekly "fight clubs”, "freely available” drugs and cellphones smuggled in by prison staff, and negligent guards who may have missed violent behaviour because they were playing table tennis within the jail.

The Corrections chief inspector's report, released yesterday, also revealed that inmates at the remand prison went unsupervised in unlocked cells for up to 21/2 hours, partly because of a rostering system that wrongly said people were on duty when they were sometimes on leave or had resigned.

With no CCTV in prison cells, chief inspector Andy Fitzharris concluded there was "ample opportunity” for organised fighting.

The report said it was "likely” staff were the primary source of contraband at the jail and that it was "freely available”.

"Prisoners talked freely about the availability of contraband at MECF and numerous prisoners gave statements to the effect that 'if you could fit it in an ice cream container it could be smuggled in',” the report said.

The chief inspector made 21 recommendations - all of them accepted by Serco "in full”.

NZ HERALD



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