25 Jul 2015

Govt punishment of Serco too soft, says family

8:36 am on 25 July 2015

The father of one of the prisoners injured at Serco's Mt Eden facility says the Corrections Department should come down harder on the company.

Serco logo

There have been a string of complaints about Serco-operated Mt Eden prison. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

Corrections announced yesterday it was appointing a director to manage the day-to-day running of the prison and would impose financial penalties on the prison's operator Serco.

The prison has been the subject of a string of complaints about organised fights, contraband, prisoner injuries and the death of one inmate.

Mike Littleton, whose son was injured in what Corrections described as a fall from a cell block balcony in February, said the department had taken a step in the right direction.

"You know the penalties, I actually think should be more severe, but pending an investigation, because there's been a lot come out and I think there's going to be a lot more come out of what's been going on," he said.

But Mr Littleton doubted the department would end up taking tough action against Serco.

"They've made a decision and they don't want to look bad by having to pull the contract out."

The Department of Corrections said it would wait for the results of a full review before making a decision on the future of Serco's contract.

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