Bill strengthens prison drug search laws

Wednesday 27 Feb 2013 6:11 a.m.

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Prisons have a stronger regime for drug testing inmates under a bill that's been passed by Parliament.

The Corrections Amendment Bill makes it an offence for prisoners to "water load" before taking a drug test – drinking large amounts of water to dilute their urine sample.

The rules around strip searching prisoners for drugs have been simplified, making it easier for the searches to be authorised if an inmate is suspected of possessing drugs.

The bill also bans tobacco products on prison grounds.

Smoking in prisons is already banned but Corrections Minister Anne Tolley says it's necessary to strengthen the law so that no one can bring tobacco in.

The bill passed its third reading by 70 votes to 50 on Tuesday night.

Labour and the Greens opposed it because they consider some of its provisions are unnecessarily harsh.

NZN

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