Prisoners sign petition for children's visits to return to two hours

The Howard League, a penal reform charity, has received a petition from over a hundred prisoners at Springhill Prison in the Waikato region, asking that  visiting times with their children be returned to two hours. 

Springhill cut the visits from two hours to one.

Howard League spokesperson, Madeleine Rose says this is totally unreasonable and the two hour visits must be re-instated.

She adds that "Bonding time with children is essential for the child and the prisoner. Family bonding is a core part of the rehabilitation process. This is an operational matter and Corrections needs to fix it. Children should not be penalised because of an operational matter at Springhill Prison."

Many families travel from afar to visit their loved ones in the prison and as Rose states "It was bad enough that they had only two hours before having to turn around and travel home again."

The number of prisoners who have signed the petition also highlights the pain it has caused.

Rose says, "Children have a right to a decent amount of bonding time with their parents, Springhill needs to at the very least return the visits to two hourly."