Prison escapes at all-time low

  • Judith Collins

The number of escapes from New Zealand prisons is at a record low, Corrections Minister Judith Collins said.

In the last financial year there were four escapes from Corrections custody with only two from jails. This compares to nine escapes in the previous financial year and 23 in 2007/08.

“This great result is due to more sophisticated perimeter fencing, new detection and surveillance systems, improved intelligence and single points of entry into our prisons,” Ms Collins said.

“The Corrections Department is firmly focused on public safety and they are doing a great job.”

For the first time there were also no walk-away escapes during the year. Incidents in which low security prisoners walk away from work parties or other areas of supervision has been the most common method of escape from New Zealand prisons.

“This is a fantastic achievement and testament to the new security classification system implemented by Corrections in 2010,” Ms Collins said.

“The new classification system focuses much more heavily on escape prevention and tightens the criteria that a prisoner must meet to be considered for employment in a work party outside the perimeter.”