Second letter from prisoner with 'extremist views' sparks review of mail processes

A second letter from a prisoner said to hold extremist views has been sent, this time out of Christchurch Men’s Prison, prompting the corrections chief executive to demand an immediate review of prison mail processes.

Christchurch Men's Prison Source: 1 NEWS

Last night it was revealed that a letter written by the man accused of killing 51 people in the Christchurch terrorist attack was posted to the far-right message board 4chan.

Corrections Department chief executive Christine Stevenson said late this afternoon, it was brought to her attention that a second letter from a prisoner holding extremist views has been sent out of Christchurch Men’s Prison. 

"This is totally unacceptable, it should not have happened, and I apologise for any further distress this has caused," Ms Stevenson said in a statement this evening.

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Brenton Tarrant sent seven letters from his Auckland jail cell, including one to a far-right supporter. Source: 1 NEWS

"I do not have confidence in our existing processes for reviewing and assessing of prisoners’ mail, and I have called for an immediate review into this practice," she said.

Ms Stevenson said she had just briefed the Minister of Corrections and given him an assurance that the mail of prisoners who have been identified with extremist ideologies and/or registered victims will be immediately centralised pending a full review carried out by an external party, to be determined.

"It will remain this way until the review has concluded and I am confident the new process in place will prevent this from ever happening again," she said.  

"This has also highlighted the need for us to look at the current legislation and how it is being applied and whether it is fit for purpose," Ms Stevenson said.

"I want to reiterate my unreserved apology for the distress that this has caused to those impacted by the tragic events of 15 March," she said, referring to the shooting at two Christchurch mosques that killed 51 people. 

"We take our responsibility for safety very seriously, and on this occasion we have not met our own high standards," Ms Stevenson said.