'Disorder event' at Mt Eden Prison

7:08 pm on 21 June 2016

Overcrowding appears to have been behind a protest that resulted in this afternoon's lockdown at Mt Eden Prison.

Mt Eden prison

Mt Eden Prison Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

The Department of Corrections said 14 prisoners, who were on remand, were upset at the prospect of being transferred out of the prison and barricaded themselves on a landing.

Staff resolved the incident peacefully within an hour, without property damage or injuries, it said.

Corrections regional commissioner Jeanette Burns told Checkpoint with John Campbell that those involved were likely to face internal charges.

"We had a unit with about 37 prisoners in it and 14 of those decided to have a bit of a protest because some of them didn't want to transfer.

"So they went up to one of the top landings in this particular unit, barricaded themselves a little bit there, not too seriously.

"Staff dealt with the incident beautifully and had it resolved peacefully within an hour."

With national prison numbers at a record high, the department was having to move prisoners regularly, she said.

"[The prisoners] were just objecting to the amount of movements that have been happening."

The department confirmed two additional teams from Auckland Prison and Spring Hill Corrections Facility were placed on standby over the incident, which happened about midday.

It said the wider security of the prison and community was always maintained.

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