New whistle­blower lifts lid on life inside

Sunday News - - News - By MERE MULU

ANEW jail shock has erupted with claims Rangipo Prison is like an episode of TV show Bad Girls, with sex scan­dals, back- stab­bing among guards and in­tim­i­da­tion of in­mates. ‘‘ The of­fi­cers egg each other on to see who can be the big­gest b******. There were sex­ual episodes in­volv­ing the of­fi­cers and pris­on­ers,’’ a source told Sun­day News. ‘‘ It’s a never- end­ing soap opera.’’

The claim comes in a hell week for the un­der- fire Cor­rec­tions De­part­ment, in­clud­ing rev­e­la­tions:

Fif­teen to 20 Rimu­taka Prison of­fi­cers are be­ing in­ves­ti­gated for smug­gling con­tra­band into the jail.

Two of­fi­cers at Christchurch Men’s Prison have been sus­pended on sus­pi­cion of smug­gling con­tra­band in­clud­ing to­bacco and cell­phones.

Manawatu Prison staff and their fam­i­lies are un­der po­lice pro­tec­tion from gangs and in­mates.

Rimu­taka Prison of­fi­cers say they are re­luc­tant to ex­pose their al­legedly cor­rupt col­leagues be­cause the act­ing prison man­ager is in a re­la­tion­ship with the jail’s crime pre­ven­tion man­ager.

The Rangipo Prison source said the jail, south of Tu­rangi, was in a mess.

‘‘ The pris­on­ers are be­ing left to their own de­vices and there’s an ‘ ev­ery­one for them­selves’ at­ti­tude,’’ the source said.

‘‘ Man­agers are hardly ever seen at the coal face. I’ve seen one in the com­pound in 12 months.’’

The source said some guards com­peted to see how in­tim­i­dat­ing they could be to in­mates.

‘‘ There’s a blind eye turned to that be­hav­iour. The of­fi­cers are com­pet­i­tive and they egg each other on to see who can be the big­gest b****** in prison,’’ the source said.

‘‘ It’s very triv­ial but there’s a black edge to it.

‘‘ You’ve got cliques in there pow­er­play­ing and if as a guard you’re seen as too soft, watch out.’’

But the source said other guards were too friendly to pris­on­ers.

Three fe­male prison of­fi­cers had left in the past 12 months af­ter they had sex with in­mates.

The source said prison staff had also had af­fairs with each other.

And the source said one of­fi­cer set up an­other guard by plant­ing ma­te­rial in a pris­oner’s cell.

‘‘ The of­fi­cer didn’t like the other of­fi­cer and tried to ‘ get’ the other of­fi­cer by us­ing a pris­oner’s cell search to try and dis­credit the of­fi­cer,’’ the source said.

‘‘ The of­fi­cer who was al­legedly set up was later brought be­fore the unit’s op­er­a­tional man­ager by a prin­ci­pal cor­rec­tions of­fi­cer.’’

Last week, Sun­day News ex­posed the al­leged rape of a min­i­mum se­cu­rity prison in­mate by a no­to­ri­ous dou­ble rapist gang mem­ber af­ter the two were put in the same cell at Waikato’s Waik­e­ria Prison.

The 27- year- old min­i­mum se­cu­rity pris­oner was al­legedly raped by Black Power mem­ber William Wii Katipa last Oc­to­ber.

The al­leged vic­tim was trans­ferred to Rangipo Prison af­ter he com­plained to staff and po­lice.

Cor­rec­tions con­firmed po­lice were in­ves­ti­gat­ing a rape com­plaint at Waik­e­ria Prison.

‘‘ We un­der­stand the po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion has been com­pli­cated by the sug­ges­tion con­sen­sual ac­tiv­i­ties may have taken place,’’ Waikato cen­tral re­gional man­ager Gavin Dalziel said.

But a source said: ‘‘ There’s some­thing wrong with the sys­tem when some­one who is inside for credit card fraud is put in the same cell as a dou­ble rapist.

‘‘ Katipa’s got a charge sheet that de­fies be­lief, yet this guy was put in with him. Whoever placed those two pris­on­ers in the same cell should have known bet­ter.

‘‘ I wouldn’t be sur­prised if the ( al­leged) vic­tim is scared for his life.

‘‘ In prison there’s an un­spo­ken code of ethics – you don’t talk or ’ nark’. He’s gone against the code.

‘‘ He’s a marked man.’’

PRISON PROBE: Staff at Christchurch Men’s Prison, above, and Rimu­taka Prison, be­low, are un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

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