Community Standards breached – Prison staff caught using work internet to view porn

Prison staff caught using work internet to view porn. Dominion Post 14 February 2012

Corrections staff are using work computers to get porn and access high-profile prisoners’ details.

Despite the breaches, provided to The Dominion Post under the Official Information Act, none of the staff involved were fired and some – caught accessing high-profile prisoners’ files without authority – were not given official warnings.

Three staff got verbal warnings for accessing prisoners details, which they were not allowed to see. Five were given warnings for accessing sexually explicit and offensive material. Of those, two had been circulating pornography and other offensive material.

Corrections could not say what pornography had been viewed on staff computers but said all pornographic sites were blocked, meaning the offensive images would have been emailed in.

“Final written warnings were issued to three staff for viewing sexually explicit images,” a Corrections spokesman said. “The department’s web filter is designed to block access to pornographic websites – and other sites like Trade Me or for social networking – so the images tend to be sent to work computers via email.

“Often the images are embedded in the likes of Word or Excel documents that are picked up by our content filter once they are opened.

“Staff can be warned about accessing images that are deemed inappropriate or offensive, but may not be pornographic. Repeat breaches can result in written warnings and eventually dismissal.”

One staff member was given a verbal warning for using the department’s Integrated Offender Management System to “inappropriately” view records of high-profile prisoners out of curiosity. No records were altered.

Other staff members who did the same were not given warnings.

Two further written warnings were issued for staff using the internal computer system to look up information then acting on it inappropriately.

Corrections said they were minor breaches but, citing privacy reasons, would not elaborate.

“Thousands of our staff access the internet and our IOMS system every day for legitimate work purposes. With only eight breaches over the course of a year we believe the level of abuse is very low.

“There have been a small number of cases we deem serious and take immediate action.”

Peter Tomlinson, lawyer for double murderer Graeme Burton, said he did not know whether his client had records accessed inappropriately. However, the bigger problem was staff taking action on information obtained improperly. This could include using it to gain power over a prisoner, or releasing it to other prisoners, potentially exposing them to increased danger.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/6405809/Prison-staff-caught-using-work-internet-to-view-porn

Stoty by Tom Hunt

 
 
 

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