1 Jun 2012

Changes to prison searches opposed

9:21 pm on 1 June 2012

Opponents of proposed Government changes to prison strip searches say they could give a free rein to rogue prison guards to humiliate and degrade inmates.

The Corrections Amendment Bill seeks to remove the requirement for a manager to authorise the searches which critics say would result in more confrontation between inmates and their guards.

The Government says the changes will remove red tape and reduce the risk of prisoners bringing in contraband material.

But the Law Society says recently there has been a dramatic drop in positive drug tests and no increase in contraband being brought into prisons.

The Corrections Association is worried that the increased invasive nature of the searches will make inmates more aggressive and put prison officers in danger of assaults.

The Howard League for Penal Reform is also concerned.