Minister Praises Prison Authorities' Vigilance On Weapons

  • Paul East

Minister of Corrections, Paul East, said today that the Department of Corrections was winning the on-going battle against weapons being smuggled into the country's prisons.

Mr East said the Government's campaign to crack down on drugs and weapons in our prisons was achieving positive results. For example, the number of knives confiscated from prison visitors had increased by more than 150% from 19 knives in 1995/96 to 48 knives this year.

"This result is a testament to the extra effort prison staff and police are putting into vehicle check points and the increased focus on searching prisons and inmates.

"We are bringing tremendous pressure to bear on drug suppliers and thugs wishing to continue their criminal associations with friends on the inside. These recalcitrants are beginning to understand the force of our zero-tolerance policy," he said.

Mr East said that the number of knives confiscated from prisoners had also increased by 60% during the same period.

"Inmates are in prison for offending against the community - we are simply not going to tolerate continued lawlessness by them or their visitors," said Mr East.

Mr East commended the Chief Executive of the Department of Corrections on the weapons seizures and asked that his thanks be passed down to front-line prison officers.

"Prison staff will be keeping up the pressure," said Mr East. "I am looking forward to similar successes next year."