November 01, 2021
Prison changes reflect women’s roles
Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says a new strategy for women in prison recognises their needs are different to male prisoners.
Wāhine – E rere ana ki te pae hou was unveiled last week alongside a series of reports by the independent Prison Inspectorate into the treatment of three women at the Auckland women’s prison.
Mr Davis says when the incidents first came to light he sent a letter of expectation to Corrections on what needed to change.
“The needs of women are different. Many women still try to run their households from prison. They need more connection with their whānau even though they are inside. We need to look after those who are mothers in prison and have babies in prison. There are no maximum security women so we shouldn’t really have that way of treating women. There’s been big changes,” he says.
Mr Davis says some of the changes will also flow into men’s prisons, as lower musters and changes demographics give Corrections more room to move.