Police investigations into the death of an Otago remand
prisoner have been stepped up following the involvement of
New Zealand's police watchdog in the case.
The Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) received a
complaint from Wellington drug and alcohol counsellor Roger
Brooking in March regarding patient treatment at Otago
Corrections Facility, Radio New Zealand reported.
The February 2011 death of Jai Davis had to be taken
seriously, Mr Brooking told Radio NZ.
One month later, police dedicated a full-time team to the
investigation. However they stated an investigation into the
case had been ongoing since Davis died two-and-a-half years
The IPCA confirmed this morning they had received a complaint
into the "adequacy and length of time" of the police
investigation into Davis' death.
"The complaint is currently being independently investigated
by the Authority," they said in a statement.
"The same complainant has also brought the death of another
prisoner, Richard Barriball, to the Authority's attention."
Barriball, who was also a prisoner at Otago Corrections
Facility, died in October 2010.
Both Barriball and Davis were considered at-risk prisoners.
"The Authority has asked Police to consider any issues raised
about Mr Barriball's death during their investigation of Mr
Davis' death. The Authority is not dealing separately with
this matter," the IPCA said.
Mr Brooking told Radio NZ this morning the two deaths
suggested there were serious concerns about the level of
medical and health care in Otago Prison.
"Well all I can say is that I did make a complaint to the
IPCA about the fact that it did take two years for an
investigation to begin.
"I note that the corrections department has a rating system
for its prisons and the Otago Prison is at the bottom of the
ratings," he said.
Dunedin police said in a statement the Jai Davis
investigation had been complex was likely to conclude "in the
next few months".
"With regard to Richard Barriball we confirm that we have
been reviewing the investigation file in relation to his
"These are both current investigations and police are not
able to comment further until they are completed."