13 Nov 2009

Corrections begins review of prison safety

3:08 pm on 13 November 2009

The Corrections Department says a review is under way to determine what can be done to improve prison safety after a high-profile inmate attempted to murder another prisoner.

Graeme Burton was found guilty by a High Court jury in Auckland on Thursday of trying to kill Dwayne Marsh by stabbing him with a steel rod at least seven times in December last year.

Burton is already serving a life sentence, with a non-parole period of 26 years, for the murder of Karl Kuchenbecker in 2007.

The 2008 attack happened while Burton and other inmates were allowed time outside their cells at the maximum security Auckland Prison at Paremoremo.

The department says there have been several serious incidents in the east block of the prison, where Burton is held, prompting the safety review for staff and inmates.

However, Corrections says it would be impossible for inmates to have individual time outside their cells.

Assistant general manager of operations Leanne Field told Morning Report there are 261 inmates at the prison, all of who require at least one hour a day out of their cells, so individual time outside the cells is not an option.