Prison guard beaten by inmates
Sat, 13 Oct 2012 6:07p.m.
By Rachel Tiffen
3 News can reveal there's been another attack on a prison guard, this time a female officer knocked out by female inmates at Arohata Women's Prison in Wellington.
The assault follows a string of incidents in Christchurch and the Hawke’s Bay, and the Corrections Association says it's time for the Government to wake up and give guards protection.
Arohata Women's Prison holds up to 154 inmates, but when two started fighting yesterday then turned on a guard, she couldn't contain them.
“That's her job to stop the fight and during that she was attacked by the two prisoners and ended up being knocked unconscious,” says Corrections Association president Beven Hanlon.
The guard was out on the interview room floor for several minutes, blocking the door so her colleagues couldn't get in.
She was taken away to hospital with suspected broken ribs and a neck injury.
3 News understands the Arohata assault follows another on three Corrections officers in Christchurch last week that left one guard with a ruptured ear drum and three separate assaults at Hawke’s Bay Prison in as many months.
Over the past two years, prison guards around the country have suffered at least 24 serious assaults, one sexual assault and at least 158 minor assaults.
That's among more than 3278 incidents of violence, which include prisoners attacking each other and other staff.
The Corrections Association says it's time for Minister Anne Tolley to step up and arm guards with pepper spray.
“All we've got is our own uniform and nothing else,” says Mr Hanlon. “We should be protected the same way the police are.”
Although prison guards are going to get access to pepper spray, the Department of Corrections told 3 News they won't be allowed to carry it on their belts, in case it's used against them.
Either way, it's too late for the Arohata guard who, although discharged from hospital, is still nursing severe bruising – the effects of concussion.
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27/10/2012 12:51:50 a.m.
@Flossy, what a crock of crap, Think before opening the hole in the front of your head. You have no idea what your talking about.
17/10/2012 12:55:13 p.m.
If Prison officers are wannabe Police officers....are Nurses wannabe Doctors... and Social Workers wannabe Psychologists? The are completely separate jobs that have common denominators. They do, along with many other occupations, deal with these people, who choose to behave in this manner ! Some of these criminals are our friends, neighbours and family.
The officer tried to break up a fight !
Prison officers work in confined areas and deal with the people that the Police locked up for breaking the law. Prison staff do not put any person in Prison... their behaviour puts them there !
16/10/2012 8:26:52 p.m.
never beleive what the paper says.Of course theyre gonna blame the criminals.But what did the guard actually do to these inmates.Some of them treat inmates like theyre s**t just because they know they have power over them. Prison guards are wannabe police officers
15/10/2012 5:02:08 p.m.
Prisoners and criminals have all the rights because that's the way NZ society wants it. Perhaps when the bleeding hearts and civil libertarians stop telling NZ what they should be doing, we will all be better off as a nation. Prison is no deterrent,that's why criminals keep going back to jail. Prison staff do not make the rules inside Prison, politicians and NZers do ! We need to start in our own families, back yards and communities and say that this type of behaviour is not acceptable anywhere. We should all feel sorry for all the people..including the victims.. who have to deal with these idiots on a daily basis...it has become normal behaviour in NZ....because we let it.
15/10/2012 8:13:55 a.m.
tough you chose the job knowing what it would be like, just like nurses and teachers complaining about wages and conditiions. But I do think the prison officers should have a taser or pepper spray to protect themselves. What makes the cops think they are the only people who deserve to use it. I think Jonno is right, if you have almost nothing but tv and the threat of removing it if you cause trouble will help keep them in line (hopefully). I think doubling sentences is stupid, because if you have nothing to lose then to kill a guard would be the next thing, because there is absolutely nothing to lose.
14/10/2012 9:15:41 p.m.
@Jonno, My husband is a prison officer and because he can not comment about this makes him mad, You say prison officers think giving prisoners TV Choc, Smokes is good, you are so wrong they have to give these things to prisoners because the law says they have too. He says that if he had his way they would have to earn rewards. This Officer was just doing her job and you insult every officer who has to put up with being abused daily. I am scared that one day my husband will not come home.
14/10/2012 10:45:11 a.m.
Forget about doubling of sentences, that just costs the taxpayer hunreds of thousands more every year they stay in longer. The hole will just make them resentful even more unsociable on release and then someone becomes a victim to them. What hurts in prison is simply taking away of priveliges. BUT, if you have nothing to take away in the first place then you have no power or barganing chips so to speak. Prison officers talk about the fact that having luxeries in prison like tv, chocolate, smokes, is good because a prisoner doesnt want to lose those things so you have a bit of control. Without them there would be far more assaults. The fact is , the gaurd stuffed up. Working in a NZ prison is a high risk enviroment. They are also understaffed.
14/10/2012 5:39:09 a.m.
BRENT JACKSON wrote:
Something has to be done reguardless or its not going to deter this from possible happening again. Figure something out. Pepper spray is a solution the thought of getting sprayed with it may change a inmates mind.
14/10/2012 12:30:20 a.m.
Kelvyn... good idea but some of those prisoners are in there for only a matter of months! What we need is harsher penalties... maybe two year sentence... solitary confinement.
The sentence has to be appropriate and more than anything it has to be a deterrent as this sort of thing will only continue and get worse and it will only be a matter of time before another prison guard is killed!
13/10/2012 8:57:10 p.m.
Just make any assault on a prison guard by a prisoner an automatic doubling of the sentence. No judge, no jury, no appeal. Once convicted of assault on a prison guard the original sentence automatically doubles. Not as a punishment, but as a deterrent. I believe even these blockheads in prison could work that one out.
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