Minister of Corrections: Urgent independent inquiry needed into prison system
Warning: This petition contains discussions of distressing mental health experiences and violence
Imagine being held alone in a cell for months on end with limited human contact; hosed with pepper spray in a confined space by prison officers in full riot gear despite suffering from asthma; having to put your nose to the ground before you are fed... living with inadequate sanitation and no idea when it's all going to end.
This description paints just a small picture of the harrowing reality for several women at Auckland Region Women’s Correctional Facility (ARWCF), including Mihi Bassett (pictured to the right), revealed at a hearing this week in Auckland’s Manukau District Court.
Shocking reports have revealed the use of pepper spray ‘cell-buster extraction’, dehumanising food procedures, irregular record-keeping, and a lack of sanitation care – raising serious questions as to whether some of these practices could amount to torture.
Everyone, including people in prison, has the right to dignity and care.
Corrections has the power and the responsibility to ensure a human rights-respecting system in Aotearoa. This is why we need your help to take urgent action and sign the petition below.
Call on Minister of Corrections – Hon. Kelvin Davis to:
- immediately ban pepper spray “cell-busting” extraction
- end degrading practices that amount to withholding food
- instigate regular nation-wide monitoring and reporting on minimum entitlements in each prison that is publicly available for scrutiny
- overhaul the complaints system
- action a full independent inquiry to ascertain the state of prison systems in Aotearoa.
The independent inquiry should take into account work that has come before such as Ināia Tonu Nei.