BADDER THAN BAD GIRLS
New whistleblower lifts lid on life inside
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.