Up to fifteen percent of prisoners mail withheld for offensive material

Ryan Bridge 14/11/2019

Corrections is setting up a "dedicated mail-monitoring team" following revelations the accused Christchurch shooter was able to send hate-filled letters from prison. 

Corrections chief executive Christine Stevenson said an independent review was carried out by Miriam Dean CNZM QC and Grant O'Fee MNZM "immediately" after reports controversial letters had been sent.

Chrstine Stevenson joins Magic Talk Drive with Ryan Bridge to explain the findings and response to the review.

The review found that while incoming mail processes work reasonably well, there were too many people involved in the outgoing mail processes.

She explains that “most of the changes we have already underway now”, and that since enacting the changes they have stopped inappropriate mail from being sent out. She also explains the process for checking mail that are sent out.

Somewhere between 12 to 15 percent each week is recommended to be withheld.

When Ryan raises the issue that prior to this intervention there had been probably a similar percentage of mail that was inappropriate being sent out until now, to which Stevenson takes the opportunity to apologise for any distress that may have been caused. She further explains that in general prisoners are informed that their letters are withheld and they are afforded the opportunity to rewrite letters with the offensive material removed.

You can listen to the full interview above.