Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.
“There have been five days of violence across the country from Napier to Christchurch. Two prisoners from separate prisons are in hospital with life threatening injuries after being attacked by a number of inmates. Guards at another prison have been assaulted by an inmate with a 30cm long piece of metal.
“It is clear that corrections officers intervened quickly, putting their own safety at risk when at least one inmate was stabbed.
“All the corrections officers are asking for are the same tools as the police to do their job. Pepper spray would have been effective in stopping the attacks as well as keeping guards safe.
“At the moment correction officers have no protection aside from their cotton uniforms and it is only a matter of time before a guard is seriously injured or killed,” says Kelvin Davis.