A Facebook page where prison inmates are able to advertise for female penpals has been blasted by victim advocates who say it's creepy and disgusting and "like Tinder" for inmates.
Prison Pen Pals New Zealand, set up in August last year, has been regularly publishing "penpal profiles" from prisoners across New Zealand. Among those are killers, sex offenders and violent criminals. Most are men seeking women to write to.
Murderers Shannon Flewellen and Nuku had profiles published this month along with Stephen Fernyhough, who fatally choked a man in the toilets of a Dunedin bar.
Inmates do not have internet access in prison. To get their profile on the page they must fill out and sign a form with their details and penpal request which is passed to the page administrator by friends or family.
Other profiles include repeat sex offender Shane Stoneham, who was sentenced to preventive detention after he was caught in bed with a 14-year-old girl in 2010. He had multiple previous convictions for sex offending against women and girls - the youngest just 4 years old.
"I'm interested in motor-sports, netball, bushwalks, hanging with friends and family. I am also kind, have a big heart and Im caring of others too," his profile said.
"I'm here to listen to you if you need some one to talk to. I'm open minded and here so feel free to put pen to paper, and drop me a letter or more and see what happens ... So girls and ladies not be shy."
Another prisoner includes his interests as "cars, bikes, girls, girls, and girls" and says he is "looking for dirty girls".
Sensible Sentencing Trust spokeswoman Ruth Money was appalled by the "inappropriate" Facebook page and likened it to the mobile dating app Tinder.
It was hugely concerning that members of the public were endangered by being exposed to high risk offenders.
She said it was like Tinder for inmates. "It is enabling predators to contact potentially vulnerable people, especially women.
"It's disgraceful and distasteful from a victim's perspective."
Ms Money called for Facebook to close the page down and would be reporting it.
Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-liga confirmed he was aware of the page and said Corrections were "looking into" the page.
A Department of Corrections spokeswoman confirmed they were investigating how the prisoners' personal information was released and how it got on to the page.
Desperately seeking penpals . . .
Serving a life sentence in Christchurch Men's Prison for the brutal killing of Korean backpacker Jae Hyeon Kim.
"6 foot 106gks, with straight to the point attitude, always up for a laugh, enjoys long walks in the prison yard haha".
Serving five years in Otago Corrections Facility for the manslaughter of Ryan Court, who he choked to death in the toilets of a Dunedin bar.
"I'm 26 but I look 19, I'm good looking out going and fun. Looking for a good person to talk to."
Serving life in Auckland Prison with a non-parole period of 18 years for the murder of Dean Browne. Part of a group called the Killer Clowns who murdered Mr Browne with a hammer in Wellington then dumped his body in a New Plymouth garage.
"I'm 23, been on the inside since I was 18. I love my music: Manson, Korn, tool, Pink Floyd all the way. I'm loud out-spoken kind of guy, love piercings and bright coloured hair. So, if you're out of it, and want to write to an out of it kind of guy, drop us a line."