Prisons boss says Auckland prison fight footage sobering

AUCKLAND – The head of Corrections says he has known about claims of an organised fight club in Mt Eden prison but has never had the evidence to back them up.

Video footage has emerged on social media of inmates fighting and smoking cannabis at the prison, which is run by the private company, Serco. The president of the Corrections Association, Beven Hanlon, said the activities were detailed in a confidential Corrections Department report last July.

However, Corrections chief executive Ray Smith told Morning Report he only saw the report on Saturday. “If it had required my attention I would hope someone would have brought it to my attention and escalated it to me,” said Mr Smith.

“When I read the report it was quite sobering and I looked at the report and I looked at what I saw in the video footage and I had wished it has been escalated to me earlier.”

The Corrections Association said the report on the fight club allegations was viewed by top Corrections officials in July last year.

Mr Hanlon said he had raised concerns about the prison 18 months ago.

At the time, he said, he was told an investigation would be carried out but heard nothing further.