Closing jail appears to end career

A major casualty of the closure of New Plymouth Prison appears to be one of Corrections Department's longest-serving and loyal managers, Peter Madsen.

A Corrections spokeswoman said yesterday the department was unable to confirm Mr Madsen had left because it was private information.

However, it is believed that Mr Madsen - who joined the service in 1978 - left the job about two months ago.

It is unclear whether he was made redundant, retired or resigned.

In 2007, after transferring from the defunct Ohura Prison, Mr Madsen told the Taranaki Daily News he believed he was secure in his job at a time prisons were bursting at the seams.

"In all my time in the prison service there hasn't been a time I haven't enjoyed the job," Mr Madsen added.

He was intent on making his staff's job easier. "You've got to applaud them. It's not an easy job."

He was driven to ensure all prisoners were given the chance to change their ways. Most would eventually be living in the community.

"It's in everyone's interest to give that person an opportunity to change their lives around."

He also told the paper that his passions outside the prison walls were hunting, fishing and swimming.

Corrections chief executive Ray Smith announced this year New Plymouth Prison would close in March next year with the loss of 55 jobs.

New Plymouth Prison would be land-banked for possible Treaty of Waitangi settlements.

Taranaki Daily News