Figures released from a corrections facility show that there were more than 4,000 incidents of contraband seizure over the past year, with weapons, drugs and tattoo equipment high on the list. Of the 4,076 contraband seizures from 2010 to 2011, tattoo equipment made up 861 of those.
Prison officers were increasingly being lured by gang members with access to large amounts of cash, says New Zealand criminologist Greg Newbolt.
“There are always prison officers prepared to compromise themselves. Once a screw [prison officer] is compromised, you can keep on doing it.”
Tattoo devices could be made out of electric razors and biro pens, Newbold said. Often inmates would tattoo either the prisons they had been to or the gang they belonged to in order to gain respect or instil fear in fellow prisoners.