99 misconduct cases upheld in southern prisons

Author
Daisy Hudson, Otago Daily Times,
Publish Date
Sun, 19 Dec 2021, 2:08PM
Nationally, there have been 1470 investigations in the past five years. Photo / Supplied
Nationally, there have been 1470 investigations in the past five years. Photo / Supplied

99 misconduct cases upheld in southern prisons

Author
Daisy Hudson, Otago Daily Times,
Publish Date
Sun, 19 Dec 2021, 2:08PM

More than 120 investigations have been carried out into misconduct by Corrections Officers at Southern prisons in recent years. 

One officer at Otago Corrections Facility (OCF) was fired as a result, while two others resigned during their investigations. 

Information provided by the Department of Corrections under the Official Information Act shows there were 73 investigations at OCF and 57 at Invercargill Prison over the past five years. 

Of those, a total of 99 were upheld in some capacity. 

At OCF, 29 investigations were for careless or unsafe behaviour, 13 for inappropriate behaviour or relationships, and 16 for misuse of information or information systems. 

Three were for illegal activity, and three related to contraband. 

Careless or unsafe behaviour was the biggest reason for investigations at Invercargill Prison, relating to 51. 

Four were for inappropriate behaviour or relationships, and one was for illegal activity. 

Punishments included cautions, verbal warnings, written warnings and dismissals. 

In 2017, an employment investigation found a female officer at OCF failed to maintain appropriate boundaries with a male prisoner. 

But the findings were overruled by the prison's director and the woman continued to work for Corrections. 

Nationally, there have been 1470 investigations in the past five years. 

Of those, Mt Eden Corrections Facility had the most, at 235. 

Thirty-nine staff were fired nationally as a result of investigations over that period.