Criminal Bar Association on what rights prisoners have

Author
Newstalk ZB ,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Sunday, 31 March 2019, 3:44PM
The accused gunman has lodged a complaint about his treatment in prison. (Photo / NZ Herald)

The accused Christchurch attacker has complained about his jail conditions, but an expert says that determining whether he's been deprived isn't so simple. 

The 28-year-old Australian white supremacist has lodged a formal complaint with the Department of Corrections, claiming he is being deprived of basic rights.

A Corrections spokesperson says he's been denied the right to have visitors and has no access to newspapers, radio or TV.

The spokesperson says he's being managed in accordance with the provisions set out in the Corrections Act.

Criminal Bar Association president Len Anderson told The Weekend Collective that while prisoners do have rights, they aren't black or white 

"While prisoners are entitled to visitors, the visitors have to be approved and be suitable people. And similarly, while they are entitled to make phone calls, they have an unlimited right to make calls to legal advisers, but outside of that there is some control over it." 

Anderson says that some restrictions are put in place because of the condition of the prisoner, such as isolation to protect them from themselves. 

However, he stresses that prisoners do have rights and they are enforceable. 

"If it is a justified complaint, there can be some action taken in respect of it."

Anderson does not believe that the complaint suggests anything about the gunman's behaviour and how he will behave during the trial. 

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