Frontline Prison Officers Have Lost Trust in Corrections Leadership Amid Rising Assault Numbers

“In a letter sent from the President of the Corrections Association to the Corrections Chief Executive, it is clear that the frontline officers have lost faith and trust in the department’s leadership and ability to keep them safe,” says Rt Hon Winston Peters Leader of New Zealand First.

“The Minister for Corrections Kelvin Davis needs to address these concerns and explain why his department is in such dire-straits under his watch.”

“The letter that was sent has attached the latest assault figures which show there are more assaults on prison guards in the first six months of this year than the entirety of 2021 – and the violence is only getting worse.”

“In the scathing letter, it outlines in detail how the leadership of corrections is failing its staff and clearly warns that the system is at a critical failure point with staff.”

“The President, Floyd Du Plessis, states that recruitment and retention is an ‘abject failure’, ‘staff are leaving in droves’, and that leadership ‘is the biggest failure of your department’.”

‘Our members/your staff deserve better leadership, better training, better support and better and safer working conditions.

If you do not openly and clearly support all this, and you do not provide the leadership all this work demands, then we are wasting our time.

And there is no time left to waste, because another staff member will have been assaulted or worse, killed on duty and under your watch.

“Clearly something is going very wrong in Corrections when the frontline has openly and publicly lost so much faith in their leadership.”

“What is most concerning is the fact that it seems Corrections is at a critical failure point and no one is bothering to listen.”