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Protect prisoners' rights, Greens say

Wednesday 30 Jan 2013 5:38 a.m.

Prisoners' rights must be protected under the Government's policy to make more of them work while they're serving their sentences, the Greens say.

Prime Minister John Key on Tuesday told Parliament part of the Government's 2013 corrections agenda was turning more prisons into working prisons.

All the inmates in those prisons would be "engaged in a structured 40-hour week of employment and rehabilitation activities", he said.

The Green's corrections spokesman, David Clendon, says their rights must be protected.

"We must make sure that work is not treated as a compulsory or punitive measure," he said.

"Prisoners must be paid for the work they do, and this money could be saved for their release to help with their reintegration into wider society."

Mr Clendon says private businesses shouldn't be undermined by the scheme.

"Goods and services produced for sale outside of prisons by prisoners should be costed at market rates so as not to unfairly disadvantage businesses with overheads that prisoners do not have."

NZN

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