23 Dec 2011

Prisoner payments bill seen as breach of rights

9:15 am on 23 December 2011

A bill that targets compensation payments to prisoners is seen as breaching the Bill of Rights.

The Redirecting Prisoner Compensation Amendment Bill was introduced in October by former Justice Minister Simon Power.

It says any compensation paid to prisoners after 1 July should go to Victims Services.

In a report on the bill, Attorney-General Chris Finlayson described it as objectionable, as prisoners are especially vulnerable to the misuse of state power.

Rethinking Crime and Punishment director Kim Workman says prisoners have the right not to be abused.

If the bill becomes law, Mr Workman says New Zealand will not be in a position to criticise other countries for breaching human rights.